Controversial former civil servant, 74-year-old Prescott Swan has been appointed to act as Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), the body responsible for hiring and firing public officers.
The longstanding PSC member took up his appointment last week Thursday and will serve in that capacity until October 31 or until it is revoked.
Swan succeeds Attorney-at-Law Derrick Sylvester, who resigned from the position on June 11, almost a year before his 3-year contract was due to expire.
THE NEW TODAY was told by Swan that he has no desire to become PSC Chairman but took up the appointment out of courtesy, given the abrupt resignation of Attorney Sylvester, whom he described as a “good Chairman.”
The Acting PSC Chairman dismissed claims that his appointment was one of political favoritism.
Swan ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the ruling New National Party (NNP) in the St. Patrick East constituency in the 1990 elections.
He noted that “for 9 years he represented the interests of the Grenada Union of Teachers on the PSC”.
“So, it’s (my appointment) not political,” he declared.
Acknowledging that the position of PSC Chairman is a big shoe to fill, Swan said that the assignment is “usual territory” for him as he has served in that capacity on a previous occasion.
He told THE NEW TODAY via telephone on Tuesday that the June 15 to October 31 appointment, “is the longest” he will be serving as PSC chairman.
“I am used to being in charge,” he said, noting that he has worked as the “manager of the Housing Authority for a number of years, a school principal and served on the Board of Directors of the Planning and Development Authority and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the River Sallee Credit Union…so am used to this kind of position. So, this is not anything new to me,” the acting PSC Chairman added.
There are unconfirmed reports that when Swan was a public officer he was forced to appear before the PSC on a disciplinary matter.
The PSC is a creature of the Constitution of Grenada, which is mandated to appoint, transfer, discipline and grant leave to workers in the public service.
Swan, who has been on the PSC for approximately 22 and a half years, was sworn in as the Acting Chairman of the 5-member commission by Governor-General Dame Cecile La Grenade last week Thursday and began active duty last week Friday.
Former school principal, Ursula Antoine, who is the mother of former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine, was recommended by the Mitchell Government and appointed to serve as the fifth member of the PSC.
Apart from Swan and Antoine, the other members of the PSC are Madonna Harford, who represents the interests of the Trades Union Council (TUC), DeLano Viechweg, who represents teachers and Hudson Mc Phail, an appointee of government.