Categorized | Editorial, News

If the intentions are sincere, help is there, before patience dies

Editorial – November 21, 2014 :

The hope was that by time this Editorial was penned that the thoughts and ideas put forward may not have been necessary, and that matters would have been clarified with some worthwhile simple lessons learnt in diplomacy, democracy, openness, of course governance and more in an inexhaustible list of matters relating to the development of Montserrat. Up comes the issue of the appointment of a Public Relations Officer to the Premier and his government now managed by

One thing that is worrisome is that once again, this time it is the Governor or the office he represents who may well be guilty of causing monies to fly away from the scarce financial resources of the government. Once Again, it has been stressed often that we have two governments, but while that opinion can be argued the fact remains that Montserrat is, is no more than a Colony especially in the circumstances, the fancy names otherwise notwithstanding.

However, even with the condition of the ‘two governments’ in 1999 and again in 2012 Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) told its Overseas Territories (colonies) , Montserrat being one of them, but with most special circumstances, that they will no longer ‘tell’ its territories what to do, but rather at all times act as a partner(ship). Why else would there be need for Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) etc.?

One of the big issues in arriving at the commissioning of the 2010 Constitution was the management of the Public Service and who should head it. HMG prevailed and the Governor heads it, acting at times in consultation with or on the advice of the Premier. But there are posts that have nothing to do with the Governor, such as the appointment of a public relations officer.

AS suggested before, little or nothing might have been said about this except that although the PRO was appointed over six weeks ago and working full time, efficiently and satisfactorily pleasing, no announcement was made. But according to all reports, the Premier who himself has been mistakenly silent, the Governor has interfered with the appointment and has refused to discuss the matter whether off or on the record. His interference has caused the revocation of the appointment, in a situation where he should have been graciously thanked for his suggestion or opinion and told where to go, as having no more than an opinion.

We refrain at this point to give much more detail, especially, that except for the revocation we are for now unable to verify and ascertain the facts. What we understand is that the Governor and government have opened themselves to charges of discrimination and dishonouring contractual arrangements.

When this Governor Davis arrived in Montserrat he promptly spoke about transparency and openness in his administration and governance. ”I am committed to these kinds of meetings, something every three to six months…I am generally committed to telling people what we (government) are trying to do…” he had said at his two community meetings. He has tried to hold monthly press conferences, but no more community meetings, since May 2011.

Then there is the other matter that made its rounds last week, the release of Mrs. Angella Greenaway who after heading the Economic Development Unit and lately Cabinet Secretary continuing after her retirement from Service, was asked to leave. One member of our media fraternity sought clarity on the information.

“We have been informed that the Premier (Romeo) seeks to have a replacement for the exiting Cabinet Secretary, Greenaway, but it is alleged that you have been stonewalling the process not willing to support the Premier’s wishes in this regard.

We also understand that former Premier Reuben T Meade has written to you on the above matter in support of the Cabinet Secretary against the existing Premier’s wishes. Can you kindly comment on these allegations and your position on Premier Romeo’s desires as pertains to Mrs. Greenaway?

Also, can you kindly comment under which authority has the former Premier Meade written to you, if factual, in support of Mrs. Greenaway?

The Governor’s response was similar to that given to us on the PRO story: “I would never comment in public on a personnel matter,” he responded, later confirming he had no more to say. So we ask – what about the hiring, firing, dismissing, the release of, a public servant is a private matter?

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – November 21, 2014 :

The hope was that by time this Editorial was penned that the thoughts and ideas put forward may not have been necessary, and that matters would have been clarified with some worthwhile simple lessons learnt in diplomacy, democracy, openness, of course governance and more in an inexhaustible list of matters relating to the development of Montserrat. Up comes the issue of the appointment of a Public Relations Officer to the Premier and his government now managed by

One thing that is worrisome is that once again, this time it is the Governor or the office he represents who may well be guilty of causing monies to fly away from the scarce financial resources of the government. Once Again, it has been stressed often that we have two governments, but while that opinion can be argued the fact remains that Montserrat is, is no more than a Colony especially in the circumstances, the fancy names otherwise notwithstanding.

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However, even with the condition of the ‘two governments’ in 1999 and again in 2012 Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) told its Overseas Territories (colonies) , Montserrat being one of them, but with most special circumstances, that they will no longer ‘tell’ its territories what to do, but rather at all times act as a partner(ship). Why else would there be need for Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) etc.?

One of the big issues in arriving at the commissioning of the 2010 Constitution was the management of the Public Service and who should head it. HMG prevailed and the Governor heads it, acting at times in consultation with or on the advice of the Premier. But there are posts that have nothing to do with the Governor, such as the appointment of a public relations officer.

AS suggested before, little or nothing might have been said about this except that although the PRO was appointed over six weeks ago and working full time, efficiently and satisfactorily pleasing, no announcement was made. But according to all reports, the Premier who himself has been mistakenly silent, the Governor has interfered with the appointment and has refused to discuss the matter whether off or on the record. His interference has caused the revocation of the appointment, in a situation where he should have been graciously thanked for his suggestion or opinion and told where to go, as having no more than an opinion.

We refrain at this point to give much more detail, especially, that except for the revocation we are for now unable to verify and ascertain the facts. What we understand is that the Governor and government have opened themselves to charges of discrimination and dishonouring contractual arrangements.

When this Governor Davis arrived in Montserrat he promptly spoke about transparency and openness in his administration and governance. ”I am committed to these kinds of meetings, something every three to six months…I am generally committed to telling people what we (government) are trying to do…” he had said at his two community meetings. He has tried to hold monthly press conferences, but no more community meetings, since May 2011.

Then there is the other matter that made its rounds last week, the release of Mrs. Angella Greenaway who after heading the Economic Development Unit and lately Cabinet Secretary continuing after her retirement from Service, was asked to leave. One member of our media fraternity sought clarity on the information.

“We have been informed that the Premier (Romeo) seeks to have a replacement for the exiting Cabinet Secretary, Greenaway, but it is alleged that you have been stonewalling the process not willing to support the Premier’s wishes in this regard.

We also understand that former Premier Reuben T Meade has written to you on the above matter in support of the Cabinet Secretary against the existing Premier’s wishes. Can you kindly comment on these allegations and your position on Premier Romeo’s desires as pertains to Mrs. Greenaway?

Also, can you kindly comment under which authority has the former Premier Meade written to you, if factual, in support of Mrs. Greenaway?

The Governor’s response was similar to that given to us on the PRO story: “I would never comment in public on a personnel matter,” he responded, later confirming he had no more to say. So we ask – what about the hiring, firing, dismissing, the release of, a public servant is a private matter?