Health Minister Carvin Malone has posited that the culture of not correcting “ongoing issues” within the public service is a reason that led to the launch of a Commission of Inquiry (COI).
He said leaving problems unchecked has also made it easy for new officials to flout rules and regulations in carrying out their duties.
Malone made the statement in the House of Assembly on March 4 while showing his support for the government’s decision to amend the Register of Interests Act to give the COI full access to the business interests of elected leaders.
Malone said as a first-term legislator he was always concerned that he didn’t have adequate examples of persons who were corrected by the system for things they’ve done wrong.
Instead, he said he has found that public servants who have served under previous administrations act as though everything was perfect and done ‘according to the rules’.
“I have said often, I have said for 24 months that if you have a system that would not correct the civil service … if you see issues that were ongoing for years – and I’m not dating it to any one administration – if you see issues that were occurring for years and you failed to correct that person, then the other person would have no lessons learned,” Malone explained.
“I got into the Cabinet and I’m looking on the wall trying to see the issues that are being talked about – where are the red flags? You can’t even find yellow flags. All white walls – everything washed. And yet people are on the road talking about what may have happened, what could have happened, rumours and then they have everybody’s names throwing around in the mud and no lessons to be learned by a young politician like me. I came in and as far as I was concerned, everything went perfect because ‘there were no red flags’,” Malone explained.
With the COI happening because of this longstanding problem, Malone said the inquiry is now impacting the BVI negatively as investors and banks are reluctant to do business with the territory.
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