17 May, 2007

Community College

Guest Editorial. I received a letter questioning the manner in which the Community College was set up. It raises a concern that the writer feels ought to be discussed. I am sure that those in the know can answer the writer's questions and clear the matter up. I now publish it as a guest editorial. May we hear soon from those responsible for setting up the college.

Request for Ethical Review

Establishment and Staffing of Community College Development Unit

The manner in which the recently established Community College Development Unit was developed and staffed raises in my estimation certain questions of fairness, equity and indeed transparency.

I am therefore requesting that the Integrity Committee of which you are the chairperson investigate the matter with a view to reporting to the Anguilla Civil Service Association and the Anguilla Teachers’ Union as to the ethical nature of what transpired.

What is known is that Mrs Dawn Reid heads the Unit. This required her moving from her post as Education Planner to the newly created position of Director of the Community College Development Unit. This post (and it is not known if this is a public service position) was to my knowledge never publicly declared, so no one else got an opportunity to bid for it. A similar thing happened with regard to the other positions filled in the Unit.

My understanding is that the arrangements were handled at the level of Executive Council. This bothers me since the Honourable Deputy Governor, Mr Stanley Reid, the husband of Mrs Dawn Reid, would have presided over or would at least have had knowledge of this process. It begs the question, would this have been permitted had someone else been involved? Is there a case of nepotism here? Was anything unethical done? Were the rules of procedure as set out in General Orders and the PSC Regulations followed?

Please investigate and it would be useful if the results of this investigation could be published for all public officers to read. Thank you.

The Public Service Integrity Board, of which I have the honour to serve as chair, can only function as authorized by the House of Assembly in the statute that established the Board. Basically, the statute provides that the Board has to wait until the Governor sends a complaint of conflict of interest to the Board. Only the Governor can ask the Board to investigate a complaint. And, only a complaint of conflict of interest. And, only against a civil servant, not a politician or an officer of a statutory board such as Social Security or the Health Authority. A pity, really.


  1. It is instructive that no one has commented on this guest editorial post up to 24 hours after it was made.

    Could it be that we all know that the guest editorial was unfair in that Stanley was nowhere near the Deputy Governor's office at the time of the appointment of his wife to the position in question?

    Does anyone have the time line on the two offices to demonstrate the truth of this?

  2. "The Anguillian" refers to Dawn as the "Education Planner and Project Coordinator" (of the community college) on both 16 June and 3 November 2006.

    On 5 November 2007 they call her "Project Director" of the college.

    Stanley was sworn in as Deputy Governor on 10 July 2006, so it appears his wife got this appointment while he was in charge of public service appointments.

    I can find no announcement of her appointment in The Anguillian. Since they print every stupidness sent out by government, I assume there was no press release. This gives me the impression that they might have said, "Let's just do this and hope no one notices."

    Dawn has a good reputation. She may well have been the best-qualified person for the job. Just because she has the misfortune to be married to the Deputy Governor shouldn't mean the end of her career, or that she must be a cleaner for the rest of her life.

    Why this job was never advertised is an issue that I'm not competent to address.

    If the Governor had stepped in and openly told the people that because of the obvious conflict of interest he had excluded Stanley from this matter and was handling it personally, and if he had openly announced his decision, we would not be discussing this today. But because everything in Anguilla is shrouded in secrecy, everything takes on a dodgy appearance and everyone connected to every decision is a suspect. Stanley has chosen not only to be part of this pernicious system but to defend its walls of secrecy. He knows better. I expected more of him.

  3. Looking back at this Dawn is now back at her old post. Any idea what process was used to measure her 'best qualified for the job' status?

  4. The governor and his deputy have created and are trying to keep the Executive Council a "chamber of secrets".

    Hopefully this new government will not permit them to continue with this secrecy.


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