FNM CRIES SHAME ON GOVERNMENT OVER POOR TREATMENT OF CAREER SENIOR CIVIL SERVANTS

Sep 30, 2022

The Davis Administration has weaponized the Ministry of Public Service (MPS) to go after senior career civil servants who have served their country across administrations and remove them from their posts without cause and due process.

Senior officers are sent home by decree in letters signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, which are renewed every two weeks and usually contain the following lines: “In accordance with General Orders 1125, you are hereby placed on administrative leave with immediate effect…” General Orders 1125 speaks to investigations of public officers for wrongdoing and insubordination and describes a process that must be followed.

However, the civil servants being targeted have immaculate records of serving with distinction throughout their careers, and no such process is initiated. The Ministry of Public Service (MPS) has refused to provide these officers with justification on why this serious action has been taken against them and why the MPS would use extreme measures and send them on leave without even a shamed process on their file.

Some of the officers are still on leave, and others, who returned are “redeployed” out of their positions. They are not assigned any work and are left to stare at the wall for the entire day. The intent of which is to inflict psychological pain. This continues even after it has been reported that the Davis Administration has settled an undisclosed amount with Mr. Simon Wilson, Financial Secretary, who spent years on administrative leave. Another cadre of senior officers the Davis Administration believes do not support the PLP and

did not send home are also ill-treated and left to stare at walls.

Their responsibilities and duties are reassigned to junior officers and PLP supporters who have parachuted into the public service on hefty contracts, lacking knowledge, skills, and prerequisites for the jobs. A glaring example of this are qualified career civil servants trained as Family Island Administrators, officially transferred to the Department of Local Government in the relevant substantive post, and assigned to various family island administrators’ offices.

The Davis Administration has singled out everyone from this group whom they believe do not support them and as a result they are dismissed from their official posting by general orders. The officers are then sent back to their previous Ministries, only to discover that their original positions were already filled.

They have no portfolio and are left idle. Meanwhile, the Davis Administration has hired

unqualified PLP supporters to fill the family island administrator positions. These officers have sued the government, but the Davis Administration has not moved to settle the matter the way they have done for Mr. Wilson and others.

Senior career civil servants are overshadowed by the many retired permanent secretaries the Davis Administration has rehired on contracts, some to lead critical ministries, snatching away public officers’ opportunities to progress further in the service.

To date, some fourteen retired permanent secretaries are holding essential portfolios. At the same time, many senior officers are disengaged or left to take on work below their pay grade, leaving a knowledge and experience gap that is trickling down and demolishing the foundation of the public service.

This all-out war against career civil servants is destroying the bedrock of Bahamian democracy and removing the guardrails required for good governance and political stability. Besides a weakening public service, the Davis Administration’s cruel actions will create a heavy financial burden on the public purse and a careless increase of the national debt, as sidelined public servants are still entitled to their salaries and emoluments that the government must pay.

We ask the Prime Minister: When will senior civil servants on administrative leave return to work? When will senior civil servants who were stripped of their duties be given work in line with their positions? When will the government pay the civil servants who they

have sent home and were found to have done nothing wrong?

The outright victimization of civil servants the Davis Administration believes do not support the PLP must stop. END

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