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Permanent Secretary absence concerns committee chairman

Published: Wednesday December 5, 2012 | 2:22 pm Comments 0
Committee chairman Edmund Bartlett - File.
Committee chairman Edmund Bartlett - File.

Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter

The absence of Alvin McIntosh the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security at a meeting of a parliamentary oversight committee this morning, did not go down well with the chairman and other committee members.

Committee chairman Edmund Bartlett said it was unfortunate that McIntosh could not attend this morning’s meeting, noting that members had high regard for the permanent secretary.

More than a dozen heads of departments and agencies of the ministry had to return to their offices, after the committee refused to receive their submission without the chief accounting officer being present.

Bartlett said the committee would not deliberate on matters relating to the ministry in the absence of the chief accounting officer.

He then asked the government technocrats to return to the first meeting in January.

McIntosh is said to be on official business abroad.

However, committee member Fitz Jackson argued that the ministry’s invitation to attend the meeting was not merely a courtesy but an obligation to the country.

Bartlett told the committee that a memorandum would be sent to all permanent secretaries, reminding them of their obligations to appear before the oversight committee.

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