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3 years, 3 ministers, 3 permanent secretaries

Published:Tuesday | March 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Major Richard Reese

National security riddle left unanswered

Arthur Hall,
Senior Staff Reporter

There is still no explanation from the Government as to what led to its decision to oust Major Richard Reese from the post of permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security.

With already a third permanent secretary in less than three years, the Oxford Road, New Kingston, offices of the national security ministry have developed a reputation as a tough place to survive, with questions and intrigue greeting news of the changes.

Yesterday, efforts to get answers to these questions were unsuccessful, with the only comment being made by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

In a release, Prime Minister Bruce Golding confirmed that Reese had been moved from the security ministry to the Robert Montague-headed Local Government Division in the OPM.

However, the release from the OPM did nothing to end the speculation, which started on the weekend after
The Sunday Gleaner
first reported the change in the security ministry.

New assignment

"Major Richard Reese is to be transferred and assigned as director general to the Local Government Division in the Office of the Prime Minister," Golding said.

"In the interim, the chief technical director in the Ministry of National Security, Miss Dianne McIntosh, has been appointed to act as permanent secretary in the ministry," the prime minister added.

He said that Devon Rowe, who is currently the director general in the OPM, would be transferred to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service as director general. Rowe is a former deputy financial secretary.

According to Golding: "The transfers, which will take effect on March 15, 2010, are being made by the governor general, acting on the advice of the prime minister and in accordance with Section 126 (3) of the Constitution."

The prime minister's decision to move Reese from the permanent secretary post at the national security ministry continues a trend which has emerged in that ministry since the Jamaica Labour Party was elected to form the government in 2007.

Since then, the ministry has had Derrick Smith, Colonel Trevor MacMillan and now Dwight Nelson as ministers.

McIntosh, who will act as permanent secretary on Reese's departure, will also be the third person in that office since the JLP victory.

Gilbert Scott was the initial permanent secretary before he resigned and was replaced by Reese, who will leave after less than two years.

Before going to national security, Reese, a former member of the Jamaica Defence Force, served as the head of the Department of Correctional Services.

Efforts yesterday to get a comment from Reese were unsuccessful.