Georgetown, Guyana — (May 3, 2018) Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of the Public Service (DPS), Mr. Reginald Brotherson, this morning, refuted accusations of favouritism and cronyism against the Department by Ms. Karen Vansluytman-Corbin of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) which were, on Tuesday May 1, 2018, published in the Stabroek News and in the online publication, Demerara Waves.
Noting that not one iota of evidence was presented to support these claims, the Permanent Secretary described the statements attributed to Ms. Vansluytman-Corbin as reckless and without merit. “At best the statement is reckless and wild. In fact, I cannot understand the inference. There were no examples cited. It was just rumblings of words and you cannot malign a Government department like that without citing examples… I don’t really see much into the statements. I know that everything we do at the Public Service Department is clearly above board,” Mr. Brotherson said.
He added that the Department was been steadily working to ensure that it develops and institutes systems, which are founded on solid policies and which promote integrity throughout the Public Service. “Integrity, impartiality… the issues of good governance… We have the Public Service Rules that we hold as the Bible for running the Public Service… The Financial Management and Accountability Act of 2004 and it was amended in 2015. Those are the regulatory documents that we use to manage the Public Service… We are rules-driven, regulations-driven and we are there to uphold and upkeep those standards,” he said.
Mr. Brotherson noted that the Department continues to work closely with Ministries to reduce opportunities for favouritism in the employment process. In addition, steps are being made to ensure an even-handed approach in areas such as access to scholarships and training, among the other services offered by the DPS. “In terms of the training side, we have… on the local front… training for Public Servants to be trained and retrained and we do send out our programme of activities to the various departments and Ministries… If we go further into the area of scholarships, it could never be more transparent that it is today… We have implemented and instituted a National Scholarship Panel to interview persons. We have opened the scholarship process by advertising widely and openly in all the newspapers in Guyana. We have launched our website, which gives in an open and fair way the number of scholarships that are available, how you can apply, and when to apply,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary challenged Ms. Vansluytman-Corbin to present the evidence behind her claims, noting that if there are issues at any time and there is a real interest in working with the Department for the betterment of the Public Service, the office is open to meeting and working closely with stakeholders, including the Unions. “Persons who are making these statements ought to be more familiar and understand the operations and the processes of the Public Service Department and what better way than to come to us and ask us certain questions [instead of] using the medium of the public and misinforming the nation… We guard our operations here very jealously and we will go at lengths to defend out integrity and our character here,” he said.