Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Injustice for gov’t ministers to hire friends as Political Advisors

Injustice for gov’t ministers to hire friends as Political Advisors

Premier Andrew Fahie has described it as an injustice if legislators within his government were to hire their friends as Ministerial Political Advisors.

Speaking at a press conference recently, Premier Fahie said: “Any minister or junior minister worth their salt would be doing the people of the Virgin Islands an injustice to fill the job just with someone who is a friend or just a political affiliate but doesn’t have the skills.”

The Premier was at the time responding to questions about criteria used to fill Ministerial Political Advisor posts.

He suggested that legislators did not need to add an extra burden on themselves in their offices in selecting candidates that may be unsuitable for the role of advisor.

“These offices by themselves can consume your entire life. So, the persons have to be competent persons, they have to be persons that also understand the concept of time, the essence of time. A lot of times in our service, that’s lost,” he added.

Premier Fahie said some ministers put out different criteria while others simply shortlisted their preferences for Ministerial Advisors.

Nothing to hide

In the spirit of transparency, the Premier insisted that the Ministerial Advisor hires and the corresponding contracts would be made publicly available once they are registered.

“We don’t have nothing to hide with these advisors, what we want to do is get the work of the people done,” the Premier stated.

“When we register them, you will get them (the contracts). They are public documents. We went through the range of what they’re being paid, we have nothing to hide,” he added.

Premier selects two advisors so far

During the press conference, Premier Fahie revealed that his only Ministerial Political Advisors to date were Trinidad national Sunil Ramjitsingh and local, Kevin ‘OJ’ Smith.

The Premier explained that he needed someone with experience in constitutional law and legislative drafting skills as his third Ministerial Political Advisor.

The Premier said his initiative to hire political advisors will help future governments and would be instrumental in helping ministers to formulate better policies.


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