The Caswell Franklyn Column – Beware of Prime Ministers Bearing Gifts

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

In my last column that was published on February 11, 2018, I was extremely critical of what I perceived to be Government’s attempt to gain political advantage by dangling the prospect of thousands of permanent appointments before temporary officers in the Public Service – The Caswell Franklyn Column – DLP Preparing to Fool Public Servants a Third Time..

Generally, the reactions to the article were favourable but I was taken aback by one temporary public officer who suggested to me that my comments might cause the Prime Minister to change his mind; and by so doing, those thousands of temporary officers would not get pensions. Those views clearly demonstrate a dire need for some type of formal induction for recruits to the Public Service. At present, persons, who are employed in the service, are just thrown in and left to find their way on their own. Today I would like to disabuse the minds of public officers from those uninformed views.

In order to eliminate political patronage in the appointment of civil servants, the first independent civil service commission was established in England in 1855. It was solely responsible for appointments and disciplinary control of civil servants.

This model was thought desirable for a newly independent Barbados. Consequently, the original 1966 Constitution did not provide a role for the Prime Minister in civil service appointments, below the level of permanent secretary. Section 94.(1) of the Constitution provides that the power to make appointments to public offices and to remove and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices is vested in the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission.

Politicians found it hard to accept that their preference for a particular person to be appointed could be thwarted by unelected officials. As a result, the Constitution was amended to require the service commission to consult the Prime Minister on the appointments to the post of head of department, however styled. Unfortunately, that amendment, found at section 99.(2) has been misinterpreted to mean that the Prime Minister selects persons to become permanent secretaries, heads of department and their deputies.

Constitutionally, at least, the PM has no say in the appointment of other public officers. Mind you, I think that this point was lost on him when he signed the Public Service (General) Order, 2016 on October 21, 2016. It contained a provision at paragraph 10 where he deemed certain persons to have been appointed.

The persons preparing that order should have been aware of the case involving the former headmaster of the Lodge School, Aurelius Smith, where the court held:

Parliament has no power to deem persons to have been appointed to the public service because its members were not members of the Public Service Commission which was charged with advising the Governor-General on making appointments to public offices. As a result, section 65 of the Education Act, 1981 which purported to deem teachers to be public officers but had not been made by the process prescribed by section 49 of the Constitution for altering the Constitution was invalid.

Similarly, the PM is not a member of the service commission nor is he Governor-General and can therefore make no appointments to the Public Service. Any person who was deemed appointed by the PM could one day find that his appointment is declared to be invalid.

The question of temporary officers being denied pensions, even though they would have completed the qualifying number of years, has already been settled since 1998. Prior to 1998, a temporary public officer was not entitled to receive a pension from the Treasury. However, the Pensions Act was amended by adding a new section 2A which states:

This Act applies, with the necessary modifications, to a person who holds an office that is not established under section 2 of the Civil Establishment Act, Cap 21, and who

(a) is employed on a full-time basis; and

(b) is not employed on a contractual basis,

as it applies to an officer who holds an office established under that Act.

Put simply, non appointment is no longed a bar to public servants from receiving pensions from the Treasury.

Anyone familiar with the story of Helen of Troy would be aware and understand the admonition: “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. Likewise, temporary public officers should be beware of Prime Ministers bearing gifts.

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12 Comments on “The Caswell Franklyn Column – Beware of Prime Ministers Bearing Gifts”

  1. Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service February 25, 2018 at 8:38 AM #

    This is getting tiresome though..

    Why is it so hard to disabuse the minds of the Black males in the society that politicians need the population more than the population needs politicians, no one needs Fruendel, or Sinckler, or Dumbville, or Mia or any other politician…there will always be a thousand others to take their place once they are rejected by the people….who can achieve the same purpose of making public servants permanent. ..or be rejected at the polls next election as well..

    Please educate Bajans that they do not need individual politicians. ..but ALL politicians need the people and electorate to SURVIVE…

    GET RID of your WEAK MINDS….there is no need to depend on any minister or politician for anything, they are born liars and will always lie….you have a wide pool of candidates to choose from…will always have a wide pool of politicial candidate to choose from OR reject.

    I notice that it is only Caribbean people have this notion that if they dont appease and please politicians….their frtures are ruined and they cannot live or progress. ..that is nonsense…that is regressive thinking.

    You as the population hire politicians to parliament, you as the population are their bosses and masters, you get to fire them….not the other way around.


  2. lawson February 25, 2018 at 9:14 AM #

    LOL WW you know your peers can barely make an X on the ballot sheet, let it play out as God intended ….you will sell yourself back into slavery with the imf, the govt will beg for the hyatt to be built, and importing jamaican hookers will be a thing of the past.


  3. Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service February 25, 2018 at 12:01 PM #

    Lawson…ya fraud…so where do you think they are at now, ya just trying to convince them that they are not..,.and here I thought I had quieted one racist…

    ……the average bajan can read better than you, the problem most might have is with analysis and many arent too shabby in that regard either…

    ……’s the brainwash, lies and bullshit oozing out of the society, you know, the fake brutish british society left to them for decades and the corruption oozing out of the parasitic politicians that is really causing stagnation, deception and the inability to understand that politicians are interchangeable and easily replaceable… the people. ……that they must get rid of the sentimental attachments they tend to develop to individual politicians and ministers,

    … that all politicians lie and would not work for free, that they are being PAID…by the people….that none …not one…of the politicians would care to be a minister if not for the status, the perks, the money, international exposure, the titles and other life changing aspects of being in the public domain…..there is still a way to go to change that self demeaning and degrading way the people hold up politicians, lawyers, doctors etc to be better than them….while being disappointed each and every time.

    By the way, I saw the boyfriend all dressed up in Hindi garb….what is that all about…he plans to leave yall and convert or what.?


  4. Tron February 25, 2018 at 12:18 PM #

    It does not matter what the current regime does with civil servants or promises them. If the forex reserves are depleted, at least 10,000 civil servants have to go home forever, including many appointed lazy laggards. Or better: Emigrate to work on banana plantations in Costa Rica or in gold mines in Africa or Asia.

    You think that this is unconstitutional? Let me show you what the IMF did to Greece. The international financial market does not know any legal boundaries.


  5. lawson February 25, 2018 at 5:32 PM #

    LOL you shoudnt have said you like butter chicken when he gets home it will be the same old milk toast what a putz. I hate to break it to you your average bajan cant read better than me, and you guys arent punching above your weight so quit self medicating.


  6. Hal Austin February 25, 2018 at 5:38 PM #

    Tron February 25, 2018 at 12:18 PM #

    The troika was behind the Greek rebalance, not the IMF on its own.


  7. Tron February 25, 2018 at 5:42 PM #

    True. Angela M and her crippled MoF pushed the case. Hopefully, Barbados will be supervised by an Indian and not a German IMF agent.


  8. Hal Austin February 25, 2018 at 5:48 PM #

    Tron February 25, 2018 at 5:42 PM #

    The fundamental issue is that Barbados is a failed state, worse we are in denial. Our business, political and administrative elites have all failed. They have betrayed the nation.
    The Greek problem was a failure by the rich to pay taxes; does this sound familiar?


  9. Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service February 25, 2018 at 7:12 PM #

    Lawson….or when pretty boy comes home, he will just convert all 36 million of you to Hindi and export yall to Mumbai…..Hindi may not like Muslim, but they are all first cousins, ya will learn the quran.


  10. Dr. Simple Simon February 25, 2018 at 7:29 PM #

    @Well Well & Cut N’ Paste At Your Service February 25, 2018 at 12:01 PM “By the way, I saw the boyfriend all dressed up in Hindi garb…”

    When I saw the fancy dress, i swore that it was you who dressed him…seeing that he is your boyfriend and all.


  11. lawson February 25, 2018 at 7:44 PM #

    Yeah she was bragging about him till she realized what a smuck he is now she is trying to distance itself , I am embarrassed by him as a lot of canadians even liberals now are. If you can remember when svend robinson also representing canada was dying to get a dress on when he was in the middle east. Two of the same ilk.


  12. Well Well @ Cut and Paste @ Your Service February 25, 2018 at 8:45 PM #

    dont mind Lawson…the Loonie is over 80 cents to the dollar, he dont know what to do with himself, he got too much extra cash to visit LCBO.


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