Ignoring Public Service Rules (Prime Minister and Public Service Commission)

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

The attached is a copy of a letter that I sent to the Chairman, Public Service Commission which is referred to in today’s Nation.  The story missed the point of the letter in that the General Orders that now has the force of law as a result of the 2007 Public Service Act forbids public officers from being ADOPTED as parliamentary candidates.  The teacher in question seems to think that he only has to make his decision on Nomination Day but that is not what the laws says.  There was some doubt with people before him in a similar situation but that doubt was removed by the 2007 Act.

Of even greater concern is the fact that the Prime Minister is Minister with responsibility for the Public Service who with one hat is supposed to enforce the law and with the other as President of the DLP, he is ignoring the law.

26 thoughts on “Ignoring Public Service Rules (Prime Minister and Public Service Commission)

  1. Public Servants should be free to contest an election.
    The Law is nonsensical
    Old colonial thinking informs it
    We need to grow up
    We need to use all of our resources without hindrance
    This is nonsensical and foolishness too,
    foolisness just like the 11 plus examination and stupid alumni nonsense we hearing so much of these days : uniform fetes; cricket matches-eg. joel garner/foundation tournament; and now CBC bringing another alumni foolisness game.
    We need to grow up
    Why would people who were so eager to leave school , now many years after talking about school this and school that —
    GROW -UP –and stop the foolishness–Leave school for the people who are actually at school
    How could big people be so foolish ?
    –GROW UP !
    Anyhow this is about the foolish law
    What do expect from people who dont know themselves? –Man , Know thyself !!!

  2. It is very clear that Caswell Franklyn is very correct regarding what the laws of Barbados are saying and the fact that our regulations are being broken with the apparent knowledge and assent of the individual with responsibility for the Civil Service. Are we in barbados about to allow the DLP to do as it pleases in regards to their operations and breaking of laws? To do this is to make fragile our very instituion of natural and social justice. Come on Mr. Stuart and Mr. Holder, what messages are you continuing to send to the young people of this country? That legislation contained in the Public Service Act of 2007 should be followed. No wonder the very office of the Chief Justice is being questioned when this should never have been the case. Holder and Mr. Prime Minister, please do the decent and honourable thing; surely by now Mr. Stuart, persons are saying that perhaps the only thing you bring to the table is decency. Do not prove us wrong in that regard. Mr. Franklyn, you are very correct regarding this law and the blatant abuse that undermines the process of good governance in Barbados.

  3. The law and the standing orders are very clear on this matter. It seems that this administration in bent on breaking the law indiscrimately. We had ‘dem’ erecting bill boards prior to the last election, the law was used surreptitiously to appoint a chief justice and now this.
    The ‘dems’ declared candidate for St.Joseph is clearly flouting the law of the land and the General orders.
    What has happened to the principle of good goverance?
    No wonder the youths are rebelling.

  4. Big Wood

    I agree with you that it is counterproductive to ban all public officers from participating in elective politics. However, it would be chaos if people chose which laws to obey and which ones to ignore. If politicians, especially Members of Parliament disagree with a particular law, they have it in their power to repeal or amend the law. It is certainly not acceptable for MPs to be lawmakers and lawbreakers at the same time. If they don’t like the law, they should seek to change it. Their behaviour show their disrespect for the law. Members of Parliament must lead by example.

    The PM is the chief lawmaker and should do everything to make sure that he is not the chief lawbreaker. He is simultaneously President of the DLP, the party ignoring the law, and Minister with responsibility for the Public Service. I expect better from him.

  5. Who can forget a wild west play in highest echelons….rules amended to suit another high prominent office….now this…when will wufflessness end?….scant dis-regard for our laws is now the norm with this pack.

    Electorate…BU take note !

  6. @ Caswell:

    If Mr. Holder is not legally fit to be a candidate unless he resigns from the Public Service can his nomination be contested and deemed null and void?

    Here is another piece of outright hypocrisy by a man who fancies himself as Mr. Integrity but continues to show blatant disregard for the law.
    Who is fooling whom, Fumble?

    • Miller

      I don’t know if his nomination could be contested and declared null and void. What I do know is that he is subject to disciplinary action by the independent Public Service Commission, of which David Bowen, a former Minister in the Sandiford Administration, is chairman.

  7. @Caswell
    I’m with you 110% if you’re willing to call the names of and criticise all other public officers from BOTH parties who have

    (a) canvassed on behalf of their party or candidate for election to the House of Assembly at any time after the General Orders came into effect

    (b) acted as agents or sub-agents for any candidate for election at any time after the General Orders came into effect

    (c) held office in party political organizations at any time after the General Orders came into effect ; and

    (d) spoke at political meetings at any time after the General Orders came into effect

    This “pick and choose” battle thing that you do from time to time can get tiring for those who see through it. Take care and may your more substantive battles bear fruit.

    Just Observing.

    • Observing

      You are not just observing: you are being nasty to me. I do not know about any other candidates. I was going through the comments on the Election Watch that BU has at the bottom of each post and I noticed a comment from David where he asked about civil servants resigning. You Observing then wrote, “Do they withdraw on the decision to toss in or on actual filing with the treasury.”

      That was the catalyst for me to query Holder’s eligibility to be a candidate. I don’t know the man and knew nothing of him until reading the comments on BU.

  8. Given that the Act was passed in December 2007, rather than ask questions which appear rhetorical, would you be kind enough to supply names? This would be more useful for all BU readers than making accusatory statements when in principle you agree 110 % that Caswell is being factual. Could you help us please? Should Mr. Holder be allowed to run afoul of the laws of the land with the awreness of a former attorney-general, current President of the DLP, current Minister in charge of the Public Service, and Prime Minister? A decent prime minister at that!

  9. Both parties while in office have bent/broken the laws of the land.This is not some new phenomenon.lets give Mr.Bowen the opportunity to show us if he was cut from the same bolt of cloth as Mr.Murray.let wagging tongues go silently and swallow their deceitful secretio

  10. Is that the excuse now…….being given for this fallen sunbeam unna call Fundel? Hill you shameless Kerr…you are no better than he is..meretricious DLP tubes.

  11. @george and hamilton
    I expect no less.

    Your reading of the law implicates much more than candidates for election. I assumed that you knew or recognised that fact given your usual fine tooth combing of legislation in support or condemnation of actions and inaction.

    I wasn’t being nasty. I just presumed that you cherry picked from a tree laden and labouring with fruit to pick. .

    Accept my apologies if you didn’t recognise that your revelation and legal reference brings hundreds of current and past public workers afoul of the law under BOTH administrations and blatantly knowingly so too. If we want to carry this to the fullest extent, we’d quickly realise tis MUCH bigger than Dennis Holder.
    , or David Bowen or the DLP.

    Let’s put aside the sniper rifle of convenient character targeting and continue robust and reasonable debate…all onions and carsons aside 🙂

    Btw, my query back then still stands. If your interpretation is correct, then once “adopted”, not “nominated” is the measure. Thanks.

    Just observing.

    • Observing

      I submit that prior to December 31, 2007 the Constitution only barred three holders of public office from being elected as a member of the House of Assembly: judge, Director of Public Prosecution and Auditor General – section 44 (1).

      In 1974 the Constitution was amended to give Parliament power to add to that short list, section 44(2). Be that as it may Parliament never pass a law to restrict other public servants until 2007.

      Other public officers who sought political office erroneously thought that the General Orders were sufficient to ban. However the General Orders were not made by Parliament and could not overrule a constitutional provision. All doubt was removed with the passage of the Public Service Act in 2007.

  12. @ Observering (..)

    Is fleas like you that give a dog like me ….a bad name…you are a source of mange under the pretense of silk….there is nothing worse…( by the way that includes a ask like aarson)….

  13. @caswell
    I hope others can follow your train of logic. My point though is, we are “picking” on dennis holder, when based on your sound reasoning and logic, any public officer who has

    A) served on a branch/party committee
    B) canvassed for an MP or nominee
    C) spoken on a political platform
    d) acted as an agent on election day

    Was in breach (jan 2008), is in breach (branch exec members, canvassers and speakers) and will be in breach (during elections Jan 2013..lol).

    The issue isn’t “singularly” Holder or the PSC, the issue is the law and its wording. Let’s deal with the merits/demerits of that aspect of it.

    Just Observing

    • Observing

      I am not picking on anyone. Dennis Holder just happen to be the one that I encountered while browsing BU, so if anything blame David.

      However, I completely agree with your items A – D. What is particularly troubling is that both parties aid and abet public officers to breach the rules, and then a compliant Public Service Commission turns a blind eye to the wrongdoing. It might not be singularly Dennis Holder but it is completely PSC who must be acting in dereliction of duty.


      I plan to do a piece on campaign financing. The rules in this regard are always observed in the breach. Neither party is guiltless and therefore none of them make it an issue since we have the best electoral system and politicians that money can pay for.

  14. We the people need to censor these Government Officials when they seemingly break the law

    People like Caswell Franklyn and others must take action against such persons. This action can be in the form of protest. Nowadays everything reaches an international audience. Now is the the time to squeeze the balls of individuals who deviate from their mandate. There has not been a better time to call these people to account through Youtube or some other medium. Action ! Action Action –(a bad word with frightened people) but action is imperative. Now is the time to sock it to dem

  15. David,
    All of this is the usual storm in a t-cup or 9-day wonder! Seems to me that every 5 years we have the proud decision to make to allow either “the crips” on one hand or “the blood” on the other hand to take over the “administration” of this country. Are you asking what are “the crips” & “the blood”? These are supposed to be well known gangs (hoods) in NY and other big cites in North America. Yes, that is my perception of politicians in this part of the world these days ie nothing but a lot of scheming brigands and they are allowed to continue with our blessing when we elect one team or the other and then lay back and allow then to do as they like for another 5 years at our expense. Remember though, it has been said that a people usually get the government that they deserve! C’est la vie! As they say.

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