(Photo Credit: Ahreefa Bacchus/BVI Platinum News)
After announcing that his statement about the permanent secretary appointments in the House of Assembly on September 2 was misrepresented by some areas of the media, and by what was described as internet trolls, Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie stated that the Public Service Commission (PSC) was subjected to reckless assault by the Governor and are the “first casualty.”
The statement regarding the PSC stems from an announcement that was made on Friday regarding the reshuffling of current and appointments of new permanent secretaries. The contention of these appointments was referenced in the House of Assembly by Premier Fahie, as he announced that the decision was made solely by the Governor and was not reflective of what was suggested by the PSC.
This displeasure that the Governor did not consider the PSC’s recommendations was further referenced in a statement by the Premier, that was released on September 4. In that statement, the Premier suggested that the Governor’s action echoed unconcern for the PSC.
Hon. Fahie stated, “By trashing the PSC’s recommendations, the Governor has signaled his lack of confidence in the members of the commission to perform in a manner that protects Her Majesty’s service. This is a very serious aspersion that the Governor has cast on the members of the commission who are among the brightest minds of the Virgin Islands with long, unblemished careers and who are stalwarts of our Territory.”
In further blasting the Governor’s actions, Hon. Fahie referenced his statement that was made in the House of Assembly on Monday, and once again accused Governor Augustus Jaspert of usurping the PSC’s responsibility.
“As I said in the House of Assembly on Monday, the Governor’s usurping of this function from the PSC is an insult to self-reliance, self-determination, modern partnership, mutual respect and the democratic future of the BVI.”
In further condemning the Governor’s action, the Premier said, “It signals that, in the eyes of the some, colonialism is alive and thriving. Thus, to them, we the people of the Virgin Islands are still subjugated, inferior and lesser persons. Chains and whips have been replaced by less obvious, invisible kinds of shackles that can be tugged on whenever we raise our heads too high, so that we will cower back in line.”
The Premier said, “The members of the PSC are early, frontline casualties of this reckless assault. For, through his actions, the Governor has imputed that the commissioners are incompetent or compromised, thus smearing their professional records.”
“It would be curious to see, going forward, whether having displayed this lack of confidence in the members of the PSC, whether what the Governor’s next move would be. How can he justify keeping a commission in which he has demonstrated that he has absolutely no faith. But, also, how can he justify firing them when they have done no wrong, other than being born here,” Hon. Fahie added.
"We will continue to be fully respectful of the United Kingdom and their representative. But, respect ought to be a two-way street,” he added.