Thu | Jan 24, 2019

Warren lynching turns me off public service

Published:Saturday | July 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM


On July 27, 2018, I was greeted with a story on The Gleaner's front page concerning the resignation of former managing director of National Energy Solutions Ltd (NESol) Carolyn Warren. In sum, Warren allegedly resigned from her post because of the "devastating impact" of claims made by Opposition Spokesman Phillip Paulwell about her drug conviction more than 20 years ago.

My mind immediately went back to July 13, when Prime Minister Andrew Holness urged Jamaicans with an interest in public service not to shy away from the idea, calling it the "highest form of service" to be given to one's country.

I must say that any aspiration of making a lifelong career out of national service I might have had before this public lambasting of Carolyn Warren has made me change my mind forthwith.

The utter disrespect meted out to civil servants by Paulwell and his colleagues on the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee - Fitz Jackson, I also name you! - is simply an indication to civil servants that their dignity and integrity are worth nothing when the end game is to gain political mileage.

And the same level of public shaming can be seen if we look back to sittings of the PAAC throughout the years. Remember, people are innocent until proven guilty!


I heard Paulwell's apology after the public reprimand, but some things you just cannot take back!

Any well-thinking public servant would pack her bags and go, steering clear of anything to do with public service.

Thankfully, Ms Warren seems qualified enough to survive in the private sector, taking the experience gained from years of working slavishly in an ungrateful system and making the most of it. I wish her all the best in her plans going forward .

To the prime minister, a public spectacle should be made of Carolyn Warren, this time with a more positive spin. Might I suggest holding her up as a model of sobriety as the epitome of what ex-convicts can become when they leave their delinquent ways behind and seek to live life on the straight and narrow.

I hope Phillip Paulwell never gets his hands on the portfolio of national security or justice any time in the near future as I would have serious questions about his handing of any programme that has to do with reformation and the prevention of recidivism.