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Victimization of public officers in St Lucia

Dear Sir

The government is at it again with attempts at victimization of public officers, this time at the very top management of the public service.

News of the transfer of several senior officers have been aired stating that the acting comptroller of customs has been transferred to the department of sustainable development; the permanent secretary in the department of sustainable development is transferred to the department of youth & sports, and the acting permanent secretary in the department of youth & sports is transferred to the ministry of health. It is also rumoured that the accountant general is expected to be transferred to the department of external affairs.

While these transfers seem legitimate and customary, what is curious is the transfer of the acting comptroller of customs (after two and a half years acting in the position) and the intended transfer of the accountant general. These officers have received extensive technical training for their positions, hence the reason for lateral transfers to permanent secretary positions is extremely questionable.

Are these officers too strict in maintaining adherence to the laws and regulations governing their sphere of responsibility? Are they thorns in the flesh of the political directorate who want softer henchmen or women to facilitate their dubious activities?

Public servants must remember the perpetual actions that the government has attempted that would be unfavourable to them.

First it was the attempt at cutting their salaries by 50 percent. Then it was the attempt to stifle and eliminate the authority of the public service commission with the decision in Cabinet Conclusion No. 855. Now it is the mass transfer of top management.

The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) vehemently denounces the attempts by this government to victimize hardworking civil servants and tampering of the systems that are enshrined in the Constitution, which sought to protect civil servants from political interference. We want to assure public officers that a labour government will respect hardworking civil servants and provide them with the conditions of service enshrined in the legislation governing their employment.

SLP Castries East Constituency Office



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