Letter of the day: Anything but flaccid!
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Permit me some space to respond to your editorial of March 22, 2016 regarding what you referred to as my 'flaccid logic'.
I will reproduce aspects of my letter to the Public Service Commission and hope that you and your readers will be able to see, from a worker's perspective, the challenges we have with a new requirement.
"While we understand the need for total compliance in keeping with the Corruption (Prevention) Act, we have some challenges that have arisen by the Public Service Commission now making this a mandatory prerequisite to be considered for appointments and promotions.
"This new requirement for appointment and promotion represents a significant policy shift in the requirement for persons to be appointed and promoted. We are also disheartened that, as a strategic industrial-relations partner of the Government of Jamaica, the Jamaica Civil Service Association was not consulted on this change. This goes against the Labour Relations Code and the Government of Jamaica Code of Consultation that where there must be consultation where any significant policy change is to be made in the work environment. In this case, the terms and conditions that must be satisfied for one to be considered for appointed. This must be discussed before implementation. We were not even copied on the correspondence to the Cabinet secretary.
"I must indicate that this new requirement has caused disquiet among the union's membership and I have also received calls from a few permanent secretaries expressing surprise. Not in the context of how non-filing should be dealt with, but how are they to now amend and comply with the requirements of the Staff Orders and the letters of employment setting out what are the criteria for appointment and promotion.
"We have examined the new requirements against the Public Service Regulations the Staff Orders, the Corruption (Prevention) Act, various performance management and appraisal systems and the rules of Natural Justice and it is our considered opinion that this new requirement is grossly unfair and represents piecemeal policymaking. It must be noted that Section 3 of the Corruption (Prevention) Regulations, 2003, applies only to an appointed public officer and sets out the conditions that must be applied. None of them speaks to any other person other than an appointed public officer.
"The Public Service Regulations and the Staff Orders also do not contemplate that a breach has occurred before the competent authority (the Corruption Prevention Commission) has indicated that there is in fact a breach, particularly a criminal breach. Also, any matter requiring disciplinary action must follow a certain process, which this letter to the Cabinet secretary does not seem to contemplate.
"This new requirement has put the heads of ministries, departments and agencies in an absurd position, which was not the perceived intent, but that is the effect and this is subject to challenge by any public officer who is denied an appointment or promotion based on this new requirement."
I trust now that you will see some potency in my logic.