The Barbados Civil Service: An Army of Occupation Or A Tale Of Manipulation?
Recent discussion has placed the role of the Barbados Civil Service under the microscope, specifically that of the Permanent Secretary (PS) who is the person in charge of the ministry, and not the Minister. BU family members mirror the view of many Barbadians that the PS’ have been getting a free ride given the proclivity of Barbadians to blame the Ministers aka politicians for everything which go wrong.
Wikipedia explains that the role of the PS interestingly enough is responsible for: “… ensuring that the Department (ministry) spends money granted by Parliament appropriately. Permanent Secretaries are thus frequently called for questioning by the Public Accounts Committee and Select Committees of the House of Commons. The permanent secretary usually chairs a department’s management board which consists of executive members (other civil servants in the department) and non-executive directors.”
The 10 month old David Thompson assumed the reigns of government promising to root out corruption in government. So far it seems to John Citizen that their efforts are being stymied for a number of reasons. We have witnessed the attempt to fire the General Manager of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) who has so far escaped on a technicality. There is the mess inherited at the Urban Development Commission (UDC) and Rural Development Commission (RDC) which has caused one causality so far, Minister Denis Lowe. We have to say in his defence that some files have been reported to have gone missing in his ministry which halted serious investigations. It appears that Minister Chris Sinckler has been scarified to lend his grass roots appreciation to rationalizing the RDC and UDC. We have also heard the rumblings that the PS at the Ministry of Agriculture and Minister Benn don’t see eye to eye.
There is also the issue of the influence the PS wields and by extension the Civil Service because of their high level of membership in the fraternal organization of freemasonry aka lodge. They continue to deny it but enough has leaked out to suggest that the kinship derived from being a Freemason may have wider implication for decision making within Barbados. Perhaps talk show host Tony Marshall can enlightened Barbadians given his leading role in a lodge. He is joined by policemen, lawyers, judges, bankers and others prominent members of society.
Given the job description of the PS and the massive overruns which has affected several projects through the years, many of them should have demitted office in shame. Instead the PS’ are shuffled around like musical chairs. How does that approach help to improve efficiency in government?
BU family member Bush tea is always able to articulate on these matters in a way that causes us to pause. The BU household is sensitive to the fact that they are some who may want to feedback on the matter raised away from the glare of others. In those cases you are welcome to click on the feedback option.
Any information forwarded to give us a grasp of this issue will be treated as requested.