Georgetown, Guyana – (August 8, 2018) President David Granger, today, administered the Oath of office to the members of the Public Service Commission (PSC). During the ceremony, the Head of State reaffirmed the administration’s respect for the independence and the commitment to support the work of the Commission, as he noted that it is essential to maintaining public trust in government.
Speaking at the ceremony held at State House, the Head of State said that the Public Service Commission’s task is to ensure the establishment and existence of an impartial Public Service by insulating public servants from political influence and interference. He noted that the swearing-in of the Public Service Appellate Tribunal last year and the Public Service Commission this year is evidence of the Government’s determination to establish and maintain a professional Public Service.
“The Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (at Article 201 (1)) vests the Public Service Commission with “… the power to make appointments to public offices and to remove and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices…” The Public Service Commission promotes a professional Public Service by ensuring that its appointments are based on the principle of merit rather than political patronage and that disciplinary action and removals, when necessary, are just. The Commission can enhance the professionalism of the Public Service by appointing public servants who evince the qualities of impartiality, integrity and intelligence,” he said.
The President noted that Guyana’s development demands a proficient, professional Public Service and public servants are essential to the country’s administration since they exert direct and daily influence on the lives of Guyanese through various official agencies, boards, commissions, departments and ministries.
“Citizens’ access to public services – such as public education, public health, public infrastructure, public security, public telecommunications and social protection, for example – requires the existence of an impartial Public Service. Such a Service would be committed to implementing the policies and programmes of the Executive and to ensuring that the delivery of services to all Guyanese continues regardless of the political party in office. The Public Service serves the public good. It ensures the efficiency and efficacy of the delivery of public services. Public servants are responsible for advising and assisting ministers of the Government; implementing government programmes and projects; delivering public services and executing public policy intended for the benefit of the people,” President Granger noted.
He said that the Public Service cannot be disassociated from the concept of public trust and to enjoy public trust and to achieve its administrative objectives, the Public Service must be composed of men and women of intelligence, integrity and impartiality, who should be allowed to work “…without fear [or] favour, partiality or prejudice.”
“They should look forward to careers based on the principle of merit. Their employment should not be threatened or interrupted for political reasons or upon a change in government. Dr. Bertram Collins warned, in his Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Public Service in 1968, 50 years ago he warned of the danger of the abandonment of the merit principle and the acceptance of the practice of political partisanship. He wrote then: “Many individual public servants no longer feel that their careers depend on merit alone but fear that they can be victims, or hope that they will be the beneficiaries, of political favour. This strikes at the heart of the ideal of an efficient public servant serving loyally the Government of the day and all the people of the country.” The days of fear are over,” the President said.
The members of the Commission are Ms. Mavis Benn, Mr. Vincent Bowman, Ms. Geeta Chandan-Edmund, Mr. Maurice Gajadhar, Mr. Mortimer Livan and Mr. Michael Sommersall.
The members will serve for a period for three years as of today’s date. The Chair and Deputy Chair are elected by the members of the Commission.