PS Department of Social Development
We have been looking at a rising problem in the
The most recent PS position to become vacant was that of the Department of Social Development. It had been headed for some years by Orris Proctor. On his resignation, it fell to the Governor to fill the position. And, when I say the Governor you can read the Deputy Governor. For several years the Governor has delegated the management of the public service to the Deputy Governor. In matters of the public service, the Governor acts through the Deputy Governor. Under our Constitution, the appointment of a Permanent Secretary is within the sole and unfettered discretion of the Governor. He is not required to consult with the Public Service Commission. He is required to consult with the Chief Minister. He does not have to take the advice of the Chief Minister or any other Minister when appointing a PS. But, he does have to consult. If he is wise and if he wants to ensure good working relations between the Minister and his Permanent Secretary, he will pay serious attention to the advice and counsel of the Minister before making the appointment. He certainly does not have to consult with our Public Service Commission.
The Governor appointed the Social Development Planner, Dr Bonnie Richardson-Lake, to fill the position of PS in the Department of Social Development. Dr Richardson-Lake is a highly qualified person. No one has suggested to me that she did anything wrong. She has acted throughout with complete propriety. The question is, did the Governor act properly in the way in which he filled the appointment?
There were said to have been nine applicants to fill the vacant post of PS Health. Several of them were just as qualified, if not more so. They complain that none of them was placed on a short-list. None of them was invited to an interview to assist in assessing their level of interest and commitment. None of them has received any explanation why they were not considered for the position.
The appointment has raised questions throughout the