BVI News

Public servants should not march, gov’t not transparent — Adams

Former Deputy Governor Rosalie Adams, OBE. (File photo)

Retired Deputy Governor and veteran public servant Rosalie Adams has said she is fearful of the direction in which the public service is headed.

Her fears were realised following two recent local protests, and amid what she implied was poor governance in the British Virgin Islands.

The two aforementioned protests were staged within the last month and Adams expressed concern about the involvement of public servants.

“There are a couple of things that are troubling to me. For example, we were never able to march at the public occasions (protests) and now when I hear about the public officers doing that, it makes me feel a bit alarmed because at that stage I feel that it could become political; where what they think is an honest march might turn into something different and then we don’t know where it might lead.”

“When I look sometimes at the way the public officers tend to carry themselves … it’s alarming because I know that during my time coming up, we couldn’t behave in the manner that I am seeing now so that is troubling,” said Adams, who was on Saturday awarded The Queen’s Order of the British Empire, which is more commonly known as OBE.


She further said this behaviour, which she described as ‘unprofessional’, causes the public service to “lose credibility in the eyes of the public”.

However, Adams noted not all public servants behaved in the said manner.

She said: “There are a number of public officers that I know are trying their best to keep the public service in a credible fashion and I really, really, applaud them.”

The retired deputy governor went on to say government should shoulder some amount of blame for how some public servants are made to behave.

She said government now needs to restore transparency and good governance, which she admitted has been lacking.

“If we can do those, then I believe we can set the public service in good stead,” Adams said.

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  1. Problem says:

    Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame at the Territory’s expense and our thirst for reality TV/Media has them coming from all angles. We will soon reap what we sow, carry on.

  2. Crooked says:

    With all due respect Mrs. Adams, the public service has long lost its credibility with so many crooked persons places in vital roles in departments.

  3. Billionaire says:

    Yes the actions of public servants are questionable at the functions but is that to say that we shouldn’t take part in having a voice at all? Or is there a protocol needed?

  4. outsider insider says:

    Every respect to the former Deputy Governor and congratulations on her duly deserved award. I however wish to express my disagreement with the good lady’s assertion that there is something unprofessional or wrong with public servants participating in a protest. Public servants are not just government employees but more importantly they are members of the general public protected with basic constitutional rights and freedoms inclusive of that of the freedom of expression particularly so on matters of public interest. Public servants, who are essentially the guardians of the patronage of the country, certainly have the right to defend it. If there is to be good governance and transparency in our affairs, then it is the general public who must hold politicians and those who are entrusted to do so feet to the fire. The general public must become actively engaged in the process of good governance and accountability. We do so by participating in elections, public consultations and certainly by protest. The civil service by its size alone make up a significant and important proportion of the general public and must certainly have a voice.

    • @outsider says:

      civil servants are suppose to be apolitical.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with the contributor.Being that some individuals participated in the first march that involved the whole country does not prevent them from getting involved in the second one if they discover that there is an internal problem that is affecting the system like lack of accountability and transparency.These two things may be visible to both internal[insiders] and external governments[outsiders].This will allow the outsider to look down on the a saying “it is better to chase or scare away the Wolfe before coming to warn or counsel the chicken “

    • @ outsider insider says:

      That is why she needs to go home.

    • Far Ra Ra. says:

      Good post. For further information google the precedence setting privy council decision: DeFreitas v The Permanent Secretary of Agriculture, Fisheries, Lands and Housing and Others (Antigua and Barbuda) (1998) UK PC 30 (1999) 1 AC69; Appeal No 42 of 1997-30 June 1998. PC.

      A must read for all civil servants who care about their rights.

      Our leaders must be careful and really do their homework.

      Civil servants should be educated by these same leaders about their rights.

  5. So... says:

    Why were they voiceless and invisible last week at the People’s March?

  6. Clueless says:

    So what you are essentially stating in a bit-shell is that IF your were still around you’d have advised Mr. Archer that what he did was not in the best interest of the Public service. Seems the majority of the public service cannot voice discontent at any time! So in your opinion Mrs. Adams; where does the General orders stop and the constitution take over/supersede the GEneral Orders? Have you evaluated the attitude and behavior of the politicians you so diligently serve without question or repose? Glad to see the archaic and pre-historic views are slowly drifting off into the sunset with their out-dated MO. Too many rubber stampers and passive paper pushers in Gov.

  7. Laura says:

    Well thank God you’re no longer leading the fray. At the end of the day these workers are HUMAN first, their rights matter..are they to eat, drink, and sleep general orders? This archaic form of thinking has got to go, we are in a millennium of forward thinkers, doers int he critical sense, young people that are creative without even stepping foot outside their bedrooms, we have to enhance and entice this era not stifle it with more rules and orders…#longlivemyBVI#deathtoprehistoricthinking

  8. Tiny Tim says:

    I’m all for civil servants having a voice and protesting, should that be warranted, in situations such as the many we are currently living in. However, it seems that everything they are involved with or want to be involved with have to be done at 2PM when those of us who are not civil servants cannot participate. Further more it seems that in so many cases the issue of confidentiality and transparency are issues where government, civil servants and our “leaders” are concerned that I cannot see how civil servants protesting things they do not agree with could make much difference to any particular situation. Lovely lady, Mrs. Adams, but in this case she is being the classic, back in the day civil servant. Married women and pregnant women don’t have to resign from the civil service any more, and the transparency horse has left the barn, too late now to worry about that.

  9. Keen Observant says:

    The last warrior, Mr. Lyodd, was offered high paying positions and big money to stop him marching and to shut him up.

    He rejected them all. That’s why, despite the current challenges, which always there will be, we are where we are today.

    Moreover, we need leaders of courage to step forward and take up the challenge. Be not afraid to shake up the status quo. A changing of the guard is coming.

  10. #SeeYah says:

    Why are we honouring this b——- again? Public servants are protected under the constitution [which by the way supersedes the General Orders] As such they have freedom of speech and the right to protest [especially against oppression] Too long public servants have allowed people like this —— to take away their voice and their right to disagree with any injustice going on in the country.

    Good riddance. Sometimes I wonder about the criteria used to give out these awards. I can think of so many people who might not have a ‘Big’ job who do so much more for their community and the people of the BVI.

  11. No nonsense says:

    Well if mrs Adams feels so up set with us, I say let NOT ONE of us go to the poles on election day. Let’s prove that we have NO voice!

  12. Russo says:

    Civil Servants,traditionalky and by contract are to be supportive of their Gov and impartial to politics and political parties.
    At a time where the economy is suffering,resulting from a natural disaster, the Governmemt should whittle down the overblown public employees roster and cut salaries for those remaining in employment.
    Doc, playing Mr Nice guy to a bunch of cutthroats is chupidness.

  13. Wow says:

    Nobody’s looking at the crux of what she is saying. Everyone wants to be America with the pretend nonsense. How many of the people ranting and raging against Government and politics on a whole really have the Territory at heart? Every 4 years a bunch of loud mouths come together to talk talk talk talk talk with zero solutions and never do anything for the country. Everyone talks about Noel Lloyd, Lavity Stoutt and etc. talking as if we don’t remember how they were treated by these same people when they were alive. A bunch of fakes around the place.

  14. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Public servants are employed to deliver services to customers with varying political views and should be neutral and professional in delivering services to the public. As such, they should not be publicly partaking in political marches or other activities that forces them to take one side over the other. This should be part of the terms and condition of civil servants employment.

    These terms and conditions of employment do not take away workers rights and freedom of speech; working for government is not mandatory. Civil servants can express their political preference at the polls. Every employer can have terms and conditions that do not violate workers rights.

    Moreover, the Deputy Governor errored in his decision to permit civil servants to march and protest in the June 08 People’s March that was clearly against the government. Though civil servants are on leave, they are still civil servants; they are ambassadors for government 365/24/7. Further, the May 23 March was a different issue; it was against the UK’s HC and HL voting for Caribbean OTs to establish a register of beneficial ownership by 2020. IMO ministers of government should not have participated in that event, supporting it from a far.

    Further, given the level of victimization in government, was even smart for civil servants to partake in an anti-government march. No doubt, the issues that the march was about are REAL issues. Nonetheless, non-civil servants should be publicly advocating for answers and solutions to the myriad of issues.

  15. Yep says:

    And that is where the victimization is prevalent. Being used and made to look ridiculous,by a bunch of losers and power hungry politicians.

  16. ??? says:

    I just lost the respect I had for her.

  17. Brad Boynes says:

    Politicians do not like government employees who speak up and state their opinions. Just ask the hill man who used to work in immigration. Do politicians lie? Yes they do and often.

  18. Boo says:

    Collect your retirement, your honours, and now several seats. We got this. Ain’t no body got time for this kind of antiquated thinking. Constitution buddy! Trumps everything else.

  19. Just me says:

    Didn’t you marched with Noel Lloyd? Now you gone with all your big m– good ridence

    • No body says:

      They always who you going to put in office if the ndp vote out hallow. Will nobody you no nobody is better than what we have think about it.peace.

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