The New Today

A breath of fresh air!!!

The appointment of a new 5-member Public Service Commission (PSC) is seen in some quarters as a positive step for promoting the campaign promise of new Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to help advance a transformation agenda in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

THE NEW TODAY is confident that the relationship between the newly appointed body headed by female attorney-at-law Debra St Bernard will not be as toxic as what existed between the new rulers and the previous outfit headed by former Cabinet Secretary, Beryl Isaac.

There was a certain level of distrust between the newly elected administration and Isaac who was perceived to be an ally and too close for comfort to the defeated New National Party (NNP) regime of former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

The former PSC head brought all of this on herself by the manner in which she was shifted in less than one week from sitting in the Cabinet Room on Monday and by the following week was in charge of the commission.

At the onset of the life of the new Congress government, the word on the ground was that Isaac was pushing back on a number of simple things that were sent down from the Botanical Gardens for ratification by the PSC in terms of changing of the guard in the appointment and transfer of some persons within the public service.

This was very insensitive on her part as any new government should be given a certain amount of latitude to put in place some trusted persons in key positions.

A new Prime Minister should not face resistance by any PSC if he prefers a particular person to work closely with him as Commissioner of Police in his capacity as Minister of National Security.

A PSC should never be seen as impeding the efforts of a new government to bring about certain changes that will become necessary as it seeks to carry out the mandate of the electorate, as well as endeavour to consolidate and settle down in the administration of the affairs of the people.

Over the years, the very PSC as a body has allowed itself to become prostituted by politicians especially those of the former NNP regime.

The deterioration in the service especially the clear deficit in Human Resource capacity has been allowed to take place by the commission for years.

The situation is quite alarming as the PSC has facilitated the very unhealthy state in which Grenada now has more Permanent Secretaries than government ministries and departments.

In recent times, the previous administration was allowed to appoint several new persons to serve in positions as Permanent Secretary just as soon as one fell from grace.

The newly elected members of the commission will have to address this unfortunate situation that was allowed to become a fixture in the service.

It became common practice for a full ministry to be cut into two parts in order to facilitate a new appointee as a Permanent Secretary.

The taxpayers were not getting value for money but a raw deal from the appointment of someone as a Permanent Secretary to look after a staff of only seven or eight persons like in the area of Transportation.

The Debra St Bernard-led Commission will have to come up with solutions on whether to revert some of the persons acting as Permanent Secretary to their substantive positions as the system is too over-loaded with them.

THE NEW TODAY is also suggesting that a fresh look be taken at the qualifications required by the PSC to give consideration to persons to hold positions in the service especially to run the government ministries.

There is a feeling that too much emphasis is being placed on academic qualifications like acquiring a Master’s degree to be considered for the top job in a ministry rather than the ability of the person to operate successfully at such a high level.

The new head of the Commission, Debra St Bernard is not only a very pragmatic person but also a breath of fresh air and will not operate as another Beryl Isaac and will be very independent and deliberate in her thinking and approach to things.

The Dickon Mitchell government will be up for a rude awakening if it believes that it can just send anything that is lacking in substance and intent to the new commission under her watch for ratification.

THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing remarks on the questionable approach by some of the new NDC elected Members of Parliament to continue to use the same Parliamentary offices that were once occupied by their rivals in the defeated NNP administration.

It was the usual practice of the NNP to look for office spaces to use that belonged to their own supporters as part of the “eat ah food mentality” that became so prevalent under their watch in office.

Are these NDC MPs saying to their own supporters that not one of them has suitable accommodation within their own respective constituencies that can be used as an office for the Member of Parliament?’

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