Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has admonished Permanent Secretaries in the various government ministries to take action against senior public officers who are engaged in unauthorised travel.
The Grenadian leader slammed into civil servants during a recent meeting held with the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture at the national stadium at Queen’s Park.
“Anyone leaving the ministry and they do not get permission, the Public Service Commission (PSC) should be written to about that person abdicating their responsibility. I think we need to be clear and firm about this”, the Government Information Service has quoted PM Mitchell as saying.
According to Dr. Mitchell some senior public servants have not been adhering to the mechanism in place that takes care of travel and have been travelling overseas even when the Cabinet did not allow that travel.
He pointed to structures that is in place for travel by the Governor General, Prime Minister and Permanent Secretaries but these public officers are still at times unaccounted for where overseas travel is concerned.
“If all these top persons must account, how come some public officers could just disappear and nobody knows…what’s going on, who is minding the shop?” he asked.
Dr. Mitchell said it is apparent that those public officers committing “the disappearing acts’ have gotten so big that they do not have to report to anybody.
“I do not know how we get so big. Some of us get so big, bigger than everybody in the country, so we don’t have to report to anybody,” he remarked.
According to Prime Minister Mitchell, the disappearances of these officers who hold top position in the service becomes very problematic especially when they are needed to perform their duties and cannot be found.
This, he said creates a serious setback for the smooth running of their departments and ministries.
Dr. Mitchell affirmed that he will not sit back and allow the country’s resources to be pilfered, but will do all in his powers to ensure that they are protected.
“When the decision of management is involved, they should not affect relationships. If someone is doing his job and makes a decision based on what is right and you want to vex with that person then vex. But right is right and wrong will always be wrong. Sisters and brothers I repeat that right is right and wrong will always be wrong”, PM Mitchell told the meeting.
It was the second meeting that the Grenadian leader held with staffers of the Ministry of Agriculture in two months.
The first was noted by a bitter clash between the Prime minister and Head of the pest Management unit, Paul Graham who was subsequently transferred to the ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Graham reportedly raised at the meeting the decision taken at the level of the Political directorate to override a decision taken by him as a specialist to prevent Sandals/La Source resort from importing foreign soil into the country on the grounds that it could be harmful to some local species.