I note with grave concern the announcement of the Prime Minister at a function for Permanent Secretaries held earlier today, that she had signed confirming the appointment of Mrs. Joan Mendez, who had served in the Office of the Prime Minister as Permanent Secretary, as Head of the Public Service.
The office of Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister and Head of the Public Service is the most senior appointment that can be made in the Civil Service and as far as I am aware, only the Public Service Commission has the constitutional responsibility to make such an appointment. Has the Prime Minister therefore abrogated this constitutional function to herself?
In addition, such an office holder is administrative lead in the Office of the Prime Minister and the person who convenes meetings of the Board of Permanent Secretaries and interacts closely with the Prime Minister and all government ministers on the performance and assignment of Permanent Secretaries.
I would have thought that in the light of the imminent General Election on September 7th 2015 that good sense would have prevailed and that such an appointment would have been deferred for the input of whoever is Prime Minister on September 8th 2015.
I am calling on the Chairman of the Public Service Commission for urgent clarification on the process utilised in making this appointment.
Dr Keith Rowley
Leader of the Opposition