Constitutional Discussions 21: Deputy Governor to be the Head of the Public Service. In a colonial setting, it is traditional for the FCO-appointed Governor of an
At present, section 66 of the Anguilla Constitution makes it clear that it is the Governor who is the head of the public service. In practice, the Governor has little or no time to devote to mastering all the needs of the various government departments. He is kept busy pressing Foreign Office priorities on the local government, and reporting back to
Members of the House of Assembly meeting in caucus at the Limestone Bay Café were generally in agreement with the recommendation. They have reservations about the present holder of the office of Deputy Governor. He has been appointing Permanent Secretaries who did not meet the approval of the Chief Minister or his Cabinet colleagues. Not that they have any official say. It is just that they did not approve. Some of the appointees are said to be too young. Others are said to be too junior in the service. One might surmise that there is no real substance to the objections. The appointees may well have been the most qualified and those most entitled. The dispute has probably arisen only because there is no transparency in the appointment system. The Deputy Governor makes his decisions not on the recommendation of any review board. Appointments, like dismissals, lie in the arbitrary and unsupervised disposal of this one man. No matter how well-meaning and full of integrity the individual may be, that is a system that begs out for distrust and suspicion.
The Commission had bolstered the element of transparency and oversight in its Report by recommending at paragraph 151 of its Report that in future the Deputy Governor should be required to act on the advice of a much-strengthened, independent Public Service Commission. Members of the Assembly would dilute this by providing that the Premier and Leader of the Opposition both have a say in the appointment of members of the PSC.
My sense is that this variation does not find favour in the community.