Carol Palmer, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, said pronouncements made at Wednesday's sitting of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) were aimed at maligning her character.
Palmer was reprimanded by the committee after she did not show up to provide guidance on a revised budgetary allocation for he ministry.
Yesterday, Palmer told The Gleaner that she communicated with to the secretary of the committee last week, asking to be excused from the meeting.
"I was advised on Tuesday, February 5 at 10:37 a.m. that my attendance was postponed base on my request, and I would be advise of the new date when the ministry would be required to attend," Palmer told The Gleaner.
She said that she was appalled to learn that she was reprimanded for her absence on Wednesday after she had sought and received approval. Palmer added that the matter has only left her to believe that it was an attempt by persons to sully her reputation.
Did the responsible thing
"What would you make of it if you had done the responsible thing?" she remarked. "I do not appreciate persons maligning my character. I had a commitment that I made from last year for yesterday (Wednesday). I was notified of the schedule on Thursday and I sought the approval of the chairman to be rescheduled," she said.
In a message from committee Chairman Edmund Bartlett, which was read by acting Chairperson Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert at the PAAC meeting on Wednesday, the committee was told that a letter should be sent to the Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Douglas Saunders on the matter of Palmer's absence.
Dalrymple-Philibert emphasised that the nation's business and the work of the PAAC should not be hampered by the absence of persons who are asked to appear before the committee.
Committee member Mikael Phillips said a strong message must be sent to the Cabinet secretary in relation to the non-attendance of permanent secretaries when summoned.