The New Today

The Fabian Purcell suspension!!!

Who gave instructions to send senior civil servant Fabian Purcell home on suspension?

Mr. Purcell who is the Acting Head of the Physical Planning Unit (PPU) which falls under the Ministry of Finance of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell told THE NEW TODAY that he got the instructions via email on Tuesday from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance who said that the order came from the Public Service Commission (PSC).

However, one day later this newspaper telephoned the Head of the 5-member commission, Mr. Prescott Swan to enquire of him whether this was true and he informed us that the Purcell matter was not dealt with by the body at its weekly meeting on Monday.

THE NEW TODAY has every reason to believe that Mr. Swan was speaking the truth on the matter.

Other checks made by us reveal that the Fabian Purcell matter was not on the agenda for last Monday’s meeting of PSC members.

It is also not unusual for the members of the commission to discuss and engage in a round robin session among themselves on any matter of urgency involving the public service.

We have credible information that there was no round robin on the Purcell matter by the five members of the commission.

So it begs the question if Mr. Purcell is to be believed on the source of the letter sent to him then who issued the instructions to send him home?

Did the PS Finance really get the instructions from PSC and one might rightly ask – is there another PSC in operation and one that is outside the scope of the body headed by Mr. Swan?

THE NEW TODAY finds it hard to believe that PS Finance will send out a letter of suspension to Mr. Purcell as head of PPU without cover from the PSC.

It should be noted that the commission is the only body in the country that is recognised by the Grenada Constitution to exercise control over all public officers in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

There is nothing illegal for the PSC, through the Chief Personnel Officer, to so write a Permanent Secretary and communicate a directive to send a public officer on holiday leave or suspension from the line of duty.

But it is a different matter for a PS in any government ministry or department to take on his or her own and without the necessary authority to issue any such instructions to a public officer including one of seniority like the head of Physical Planning.

It should be noted that the Prime Minister of the country has direct control over the Permanent Secretaries and can transfer them at his own whims and fancies.

We cannot lose sight of the facts that came out in the Gemma Bain-Thomas and Police Commissioner Willan Thompson court matters involving the role of Prime Minister Mitchell in their demise as public officers.

THE NEW TODAY holds no brief for Mr. Purcell but will not support any move by the powers-that-be to usurp the authority of the PSC and to send home public officers.

Mr. Purcell has every right to seek legal advice on the email letter that he said was sent to him by PS Finance on his suspension.

In addition, due process requires that the head of PPU be given every opportunity to defend himself before the PSC against the serious allegations made against him about receiving money in the Shrimp Farm project.

THE NEW TODAY would like to inform Grenadians that the Fabian Purcell issue is a direct result of the recent Al Jazeera documentary on diplomatic passports for sale involving both Grenada and Dominica.

The information about the Wire Transfer of the funds which Mr. Purcell admitted to receiving came to us directly from the Undercover Reporters from Al Jazeera who did not focus on that in the documentary which concentrated more or less on diplomatic passports.

This newspaper can verify that it was able to benefit from the work of the Undercover Reporters who also made available to us documents about the transfer of monies involving the failed shrimp farm project.

We are currently working on information that a current member of the New National Party (NNP) administration asked for EC$1 million from the Shrimp Farm project for the 2018 general elections.

THE NEW TODAY cannot reveal the name at this moment as the information provided to us is being checked and double checked as this is indeed a very serious allegation.

It’s the season of goodwill again and THE NEW TODAY joins in wishing all, especially our readers, advertisers, contributors and supporters the very best of wishes for Christmas 2019.

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