Categorized | Editorial

The governor may be right on some things, but needs research

In our lead article today, we talked about a comment H E Governor Andrew Pearce made while addressing a CARICOM meeting here a few weeks ago. We likened his comments to some he had made back on September 26 to the media which we will include on line so that the folks whose comments we featured in the article may perhaps get a better or different understanding what he was saying.

On September 26 he was responding to the questions surrounding his comment that the public servants go or come to work with the intention to do good. We countered that this was not how the some in the general public sees it, that coming to work with the intention to do good and that good turns out to be bad, then there was never any good intention to begin with.

That position is something the public service may want to deal with. One recalls that former Governor Carrier had pointed heavily to what she termed as a problem of attitude which needed to be corrected as she and the Government set out once and for all to bring the public service to a place of excellence.

The Governor in September was then responding to DFID’s position for some years now that the public service was too big and needed to be downsized.

Back then he had also said, “…there are no easy answers, that’s for sure. If there were easy answers to these issues, we would have found them between us at some point within the last 20 years.

Noting that, “Montserrat feels a really nice place to live and work so I don’t think we should lose sight of that,’ he added: “I agree there is a view there’s a strong view and I had this in briefing that the public service as you said and  colleagues here in Montserrat here and people told me it’s a bit big, a bit bigger than it should be.

“So it’s not axiomatic in my view that the service is more than it should be. I don’t immediately see or buy that,” he said. “I think the issue is more about organic streamlining. I don’t personally believe that anyone in this day and age who has committed their life and invested their career to a job should be at risk of some sort of axe hanging over them at all. I don’t buy that I don’t think it’s the way to build good relationships and do things properly it needs to be managed if it is too big and the jury for me is out. if it is too big then let’s get it to a better place to the right size over time in a way which is treats people fairly.”

It appears both times, speaking about the structures and all the things that are required to make Montserrat function, is asking too much, he concluded. “I don’t feel we’ve got the structures right…I still feel that everything all combined here from the Constitution down, treat this territory more as a small middle sized country than as a village on a rock. That to me needs recalibrating .’

However, before all believe that the Governor was ‘hitting’ out at his bosses, when it came to the bureaucracy and the processes, the Governor is probably yet to be told, or observe that the consultancies upon consultancies piled up and nothing done about them, his bosses will guide him in their usual way, subtle or otherwise to the real reasons why the consultancies only gather dust in Montserrat. They will be able to put their hands up in the stop position and say, go do your research.

Take his example of the apparent delay and run around one gets for the approval of leave. He will soon get reports that tell him, it is not the processes; but if one considers how that process should work, someone should answer how that which was already in the planning since the beginning of the year, does not get beyond a particular point immediately.

And the consultancies, they were always there. Go backwards beginning 20 – 25 years or so. Some of those senior civil servants are still around.

The governor’s utterances fit well with what is likely to come out of the FAC enquiry. We can sympathise with the Montserrat circumstances. Even then, we have been hinting and questioning at the problems that are now being highlighted. But as we said in our previous editorial, there is this bad culture of knowing it all.

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In our lead article today, we talked about a comment H E Governor Andrew Pearce made while addressing a CARICOM meeting here a few weeks ago. We likened his comments to some he had made back on September 26 to the media which we will include on line so that the folks whose comments we featured in the article may perhaps get a better or different understanding what he was saying.

On September 26 he was responding to the questions surrounding his comment that the public servants go or come to work with the intention to do good. We countered that this was not how the some in the general public sees it, that coming to work with the intention to do good and that good turns out to be bad, then there was never any good intention to begin with.

That position is something the public service may want to deal with. One recalls that former Governor Carrier had pointed heavily to what she termed as a problem of attitude which needed to be corrected as she and the Government set out once and for all to bring the public service to a place of excellence.

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The Governor in September was then responding to DFID’s position for some years now that the public service was too big and needed to be downsized.

Back then he had also said, “…there are no easy answers, that’s for sure. If there were easy answers to these issues, we would have found them between us at some point within the last 20 years.

Noting that, “Montserrat feels a really nice place to live and work so I don’t think we should lose sight of that,’ he added: “I agree there is a view there’s a strong view and I had this in briefing that the public service as you said and  colleagues here in Montserrat here and people told me it’s a bit big, a bit bigger than it should be.

“So it’s not axiomatic in my view that the service is more than it should be. I don’t immediately see or buy that,” he said. “I think the issue is more about organic streamlining. I don’t personally believe that anyone in this day and age who has committed their life and invested their career to a job should be at risk of some sort of axe hanging over them at all. I don’t buy that I don’t think it’s the way to build good relationships and do things properly it needs to be managed if it is too big and the jury for me is out. if it is too big then let’s get it to a better place to the right size over time in a way which is treats people fairly.”

It appears both times, speaking about the structures and all the things that are required to make Montserrat function, is asking too much, he concluded. “I don’t feel we’ve got the structures right…I still feel that everything all combined here from the Constitution down, treat this territory more as a small middle sized country than as a village on a rock. That to me needs recalibrating .’

However, before all believe that the Governor was ‘hitting’ out at his bosses, when it came to the bureaucracy and the processes, the Governor is probably yet to be told, or observe that the consultancies upon consultancies piled up and nothing done about them, his bosses will guide him in their usual way, subtle or otherwise to the real reasons why the consultancies only gather dust in Montserrat. They will be able to put their hands up in the stop position and say, go do your research.

Take his example of the apparent delay and run around one gets for the approval of leave. He will soon get reports that tell him, it is not the processes; but if one considers how that process should work, someone should answer how that which was already in the planning since the beginning of the year, does not get beyond a particular point immediately.

And the consultancies, they were always there. Go backwards beginning 20 – 25 years or so. Some of those senior civil servants are still around.

The governor’s utterances fit well with what is likely to come out of the FAC enquiry. We can sympathise with the Montserrat circumstances. Even then, we have been hinting and questioning at the problems that are now being highlighted. But as we said in our previous editorial, there is this bad culture of knowing it all.