BVI News

Heads of gov’t agencies neglecting duties, PWD singled out

Christian

Department heads in various government agencies are being accused of often shirking the responsibilities of the post in which they are appointed.

Junior Minister for Tourism Archibald Christian levelled those accusations in the House of Assembly last week.

“Why does an elected member have to be behind heads of departments to get things done? And then people want to know why sometimes the ministers have to micromanage. That is why; because the people that are paid to ensure things get done, don’t always do what they suppose to do,” Christian said.

During the claims, Christian singled out former Director of the Public Works Department, Jeffery Skelton.

The junior minister said Skelton had been leading a department that constantly does road and sewerage works but often neglects to put roads back in the conditions in which they were found.

He said the department often leaves equipment or piles of rubble by the road for weeks; even months after completing a  task.

He gave an example in which the Skelton-led department abandoned a piece of heavy equipment (a road paver) by Queen Elizabeth II Park for nearly a year; despite several instructions to remove it.

Christian said he personally issued those instructions for months. He said Skelton only had the equipment removed after appearing before the 2018 Standing Finance Committee, which comprises legislators of the House of Assembly.

Christian said: “In Standing Finance, I mentioned it to the Director of Public Works again and finally, after almost a year-plus, the paver was moved.”

Skelton’s contract as Director of Public Works only expired recently. Skelton was the one who opted not to renew his contract, according to Permanent Secretary in the Works Ministry Anthony McMaster.

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22 Comments

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  1. ndp heckler says:

    AND THE HEAD OF THEM (NDP) NEGLECTING THEIR JOB ALSO…THEY WON’T BRING BACK OUR 7 PLU$ MILLION DOLLAR$

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  2. wow says:

    Is that the reason why skelly was sent home?

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
    • vi says:

      Did you even read the article? Or you don’t know the meaning of “he opted not to renew his contract” which had expired.

      Like 8
      Dislike 2
    • Million Dollar says:

      Everybody looking at everyone downfalls and short comings other than looking at their own………..John 8:7, didn’t we all realize that Irma didn’t leave no house or property un touch, lets be each others keeper other than bickering at each other…………..

  3. let's make the bvi great again says:

    The NDP is the biggest culprit

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  4. Young BVILander says:

    So correct me if I. Wrong but when performance is poor, isn’t it the employer’s job to assess and terminate poor performers from office? I mean what nonsense. “abandoned a piece of heavy equipment (a road paver) by Queen Elizabeth Park II for nearly a year; despite several instructions to remove it.” A YEAR? Come on man. I would be fired from my job faster than the road runner. Come on adults show some real leadership and the young generation will follow.

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
    • @Young VI says:

      You sit and make it seem so easy when you all will be the same ones on the same blogs complaining about victimisation and how locals being treated in their own country blah blah! We are the problem not the politicians. Furthermore our system needs a complete overhaul where the Ministers have the powers to deal with their Ministries in the appropriate manner. I stand to be corrected but I think as it stands the Deputy Governor, PSC etc. must be involved with respect to dismissals etc. esp when it comes to senior persons. Certain positions should be contracted with terms that must be met by both parties and only then we will get proper performance.

      Like 7
      Dislike 1
  5. Action says:

    Now he found his voice. Like Archie or not he is absolutely right and it’s sickening.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  6. Leadership says:

    Because the Elected Officials are the head leaders. “You must inspect, what you expect.” And EVERYTHING rises and falls on leadership. So no excuses Hon. Christian.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
    • No says:

      It’s not about leadership it’s all politics. How do you think people will react to civil servants being laid off for non-performance? We all want good roods, water, electricity but we never hold the workers accountable for the jobs they are expected to carry out. We are reaping what we sow.

      Like 13
      Dislike 1
  7. Eagle eye says:

    Get Purcell estate main road fix for all i care.

  8. Rubber Duck says:

    Something everyone has known for years. The Department heads and their minions ignore government ministers and do as they like. They interpret the laws in the same way.

  9. Political Observer (PO) says:

    A member of government complaining that government is grossly underperforming. Wow. This is a cry one would expect to hear from the opposition. The Hon Christian is probably calling it a day, for at this 11th hour he found his sight and voice about what ails thetertitory. Ministers, managers, supervisors……..etc blaming subordinates for underperforming. That is typical. The Ministers, managers, and supervisors need to look in the mirror for the problem and the solution to the problem.

    Every department head reports to a permanent secretary (PS) and PS reports to a minister. Does not ministries set performance standards, targets, quality, quantity, timelines, cost of doing business…….etc? What are ministries doing to ensure that these requirements are met? People dress to come to work to rest because someone lets them. Let’s be frank. Politicians are part of the problem. When Department Heads try to counsel, coach and discipline employees, they by pass the chain of command and run to ministers, cutting the legs from under the Department Heads. Thinking about re-election, the politicians often throw the Department Heads under the bus. So ministers are partly to blame for departments under performance.

    Moreover, going to the HOA to complain about routine personnel issues is weak. It is a breakdown of good order and discipline. In regards to the issue with former PWD Director Jeffrey “Bummer” Skelton, could not the Hon Christian have spoken to the Hon Mark “Action Man” Vanterpool, MCW, under whose portfolio PW falls, if he were not getting the timely response needed? This was a simple operational (HOA is for strategic issues)issue that should have been resolve at a much lower level in the organizational chain. Why wait until someone leaves to air supposed dirty laundry in public? Strupes!

    Like 13
  10. FYI says:

    So….. maybe Archibald Christian is unsure of how it’s supposed to work. To make it simple I’ll quote another web site which has a fairly good short description of the roll.

    “Ministers are responsible for the effectiveness and efficiency of the agencies within their portfolio. Working with the appointed heads of these agencies, they will implement government policy and ensure agencies meet their goals and purposes within their allocated budgets.”

    The agency head is like the CEO of the department. Ministers are not the CEO and should not operate as if they are. Therefor there should be no micro managing. The ministers roll is to appoint the department head, remove the department head, set policy/budgets and monitor performance; ergo, the correct response to the problem of chronic under performance is to replace the department head. If nonperformance is not solved by this method the responsibility rests with the minister.

    There is a management 101 tenet which is you can’t have responsibility without authority. With the micro managing of department heads my guess is this is a major part of the problem.

  11. Maaan for Heaven Sake says:

    Archie you know better! Public works help keep a lot of you all in office for years giving out work to who you want and not the proper way and you blame them! Public Work should learn a lesson, Stop Helping Ayo Wutless set of so call leaders and do the right thing with its responsibilities. Now Public Works is reduce to using Sandwise equipment to do their jobs. Look at that. Public Works was all of you all Tax Haven. I wan this wall go to he because he have 12 votes and this road go to she and not he because he did not vote for me. Thank Public Works for helping you all get re-elected over and over again.

    • Tolian to the Bone says:

      @Maanforheavansake, what I want Public Works employees to do is try and do more with less and stop sitting on money that the ordinary man can use to build at least a two storey bulding and saying it cannot put back on a roof and rewire a small office buildng. PWD and Govt on a whole is responsible for inflating building costs in this country.

      Our own people have no conscience and raping the public purse and still the first to say Government Ministers stealing. A simple roof replace, air-con reinstallment, security system reinstallment, PWD telling you you need more than half a million dollars on a small office building. All the local business owners who out there overcharging Government for goods and services going straight to Hell. They are ripping off the taxpayers of this country and themselves as they will still complain about schools not getting fixed and roads in a mess. I dont give a hoot what the normal cost per square footage is when handing out a Govt contract, wrong is wrong. Half a million can build us a new post office and fix back a lot of these schools if the business men in this community gave a hoot about us. They will never prosper. It is ugly. They will still be broke. And PWD and other Departments enables the whole process. $25,000, $200,000 our own people just dream up a number and submit for payment. We cannot do better as a country. They all think the Government Treasury is well stocked with thousand dollar bills, well we all out of money. So the schools sit unfixed, the roads are worse than ever and PWD are the enablers. They have electricians on the pay roll. They have people who can help with some of the work, but they drive around in Govt vehicles burning our gas while we pay through the nose for services. It is ugly if you ask me. Very ugly indeed.

  12. Sweetie says:

    “Every department head reports to a permanent secretary (PS) and PS reports to a minister. Does not ministries set performance standards, targets, quality, quantity, timelines, cost of doing business…….etc? What are ministries doing to ensure that these requirements are met? People dress to come to work to rest because someone lets them. Let’s be frank. Politicians are part of the problem. When Department Heads try to counsel, coach and discipline employees, they by pass the chain of command and run to ministers, cutting the legs from under the Department Heads. Thinking about re-election, the politicians often throw the Department Heads under the bus. So ministers are partly to blame for departments under performing.” – This is the truth!!! No more, no less.

  13. true says:

    you all slow, missing the point, the VIP just announced its candidates and 3 are head of depots in Government, wake up!!!

  14. Hey Archie says:

    Public Works kept a lot of you folks in Office over the years. It did nothing but political favours for all of you. Give this one this and that, now it is time to bash the place. Wow

  15. Concerned says:

    Just visit each department and see how many persons are actually at work and how many are out on taxpayers money running their own life, being late, having long lunches, leaving early…..

  16. Wow says:

    This is not a political problem , it is a society problem. There are descriptions, responsibilities, criteria’s and a chain of command in every department. The PROBLEM s are : who has the guts to stand up to friends and family when they do not perform for whatever reason on the job and send the individual home . 2. Who in the workplace has the backbone to pull up an employer on the job when he/ she is in default instead of calling a general meeting and lambasting everyone because the Culprit is a family member of a family or friend of a friend of the HOD . 3. Who has the guts to differentiate professional lines and drop the hammer when it should be drop . Everyone is afraid to do the right thing because of the fear of offending family and friends . So we would continue to wallow in our marriage d

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