British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Nov 29, 2020

V. Inez Archibald selected to chair powerful PSC!

Critics ask if it is a step backwards or an effort by Governor Jaspert to frustrate the elected VIP Government

Retired longtime Deputy Governor and National Democratic Party (NDP) supporter Vivian Inez Archibald has been selected by controversial Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert aka ‘Gus’ to Chair the powerful Public Service Commission (PSC).
V Inez Archibald In! Magdaline Rhymer Out!

Mrs Archibald will replace Mrs Magdaline Rhymer who served on the commission for almost 8 years. The PSC has five members and two are appointed by the Governor as per Chapter 7, Article 91 (1) subsection (a) of the Virgin Islands Constitution.

One of the remaining three are appointed with the recommendation of the Premier and another by the recommendation of the Leader of the Opposition and one member is recommended to the Governor by the Civil Service Association (CSA).

The Governor has the power to appoint the Chairperson of the PSC as per 91 (2) of the Constitution after consultation with the Premier.


More in the mortar? HE up to old tricks?

Some have claimed that this appointment may be a backward move as Mrs Archibald is over 75 years of age and is alleged to be a strong supporter of the Opposition NDP. This raises questions as to whether she could be impartial.

Critics of the controversial United Kingdom appointed Governor Jaspert noted that this might further be a way for the Governor to frustrate the elected Government of Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in its quest to fill public sector posts with Virgin Islanders.

There has been growing tension between the Governor and the Premier, as it appears the Governor does not understand his role in a democratic society and continues to overreach in what many social and political commentators say is a perceived disregard for the rule of law and the spirit of the Virgin Islands constitution.

Premier Fahie could not be reached for comments up to publication time.

Mrs Archibald’s appointment is expected to commence on June 1, 2020.


Role of the PSC?

The PSC advises the Governor on Public Service appointments, promotions, transfers, retirement, dismissal and disciplinary actions.

The recommendations are most often carried out; however, the Governor can reject the advice of the PSC if he determines that compliance with that advice would prejudice Her Majesty’s Service.

Mrs Archibald, who served on the Commission before, has had a four-year stint [2003-2007] as Speaker of the Virgin Islands Legislature, under an NDP regime.

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