Beautiful Virgin Islands

Sunday, Feb 05, 2023

I’ve never heard of people being fired for criticising leaders

I’ve never heard of people being fired for criticising leaders

Deputy Governor David Archer Jr has signalled that he doesn’t know of any public officer who has been victimised or fired after criticising ministers or elected leaders.
Archer, whose office is responsible for the public service, appeared on the Talking Points radio show on November 28 and was asked to comment on reports that some public officers have lost their jobs after criticising certain ministers.

In response, Archer stated, “I know of no example where someone has spoken out against a minister and lost their job. The reason why I say that is; for it to result in someone being terminated, it’s a very formal established legal process.”

Reports of public officers being fired as a result of criticising elected leaders often surface in the community. Those reports were particularly prominent under the Andrew Fahie-led administration. In 2020 for example, it was alleged that Cindy Rosan-Jones’ criticism of the Fahie administration resulted in her position at the BVI Tourist Board being made redundant.

Just before former Governor Augustus Jaspert announced the Commission of Inquiry, he had also revealed that his office had received several complaints of intimidation and victimisation in the public sector.

At the same time, elected leaders often deny that they had anything to do with public officers who were dismissed or sent on leave while matters are being investigated. According to Deputy Governor Archer, it is quite possible for government ministers to have no knowledge of these happenings.

“A minister does not hire or discipline an individual. That’s done by commissions like the Public Service Commission or the Teaching Service Commission. That’s meant to be a transparent process free from any interference from anyone. So, is it for someone to go through a disciplinary process and the Premier not be aware of it? Yes,” Archer explained emphatically.

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