BVI News

We think ministerial posts are ours, but they’re not — Penn

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn

Health Minister Marlon Penn has sounded a call for a unified front in the newly formed unity government, even as he chided others who are apparently seeking to disrupt the government’s progress.

“We get in these positions and we tend to believe that we own it, that it’s ours and even after we are gone in the [parliamentary] backbench and in the Opposition we still think it’s our own,” Penn said while speaking in the House of Assembly (HOA) yesterday.

While not naming any particular offending legislator, Penn suggested that the ease of doing business was being frustrated in the process, forcing public servants to go the extra mile to get simple tasks completed.

“Staff is going and coming for days trying to get a document out of a government department,” Penn stated.

“It’s not ours, it’s the people’s business. It is the people’s business and across ministries, across departments, we have a responsibility to make sure that there are efficiencies in terms of how the people’s business operates,” he added.

We have failed the system

Meanwhile, Penn described the notion of an establishment of silos and the pervasive bureaucracy surrounding the public service as unnecessary and argued that it was something that needed to come to an end in the territory.

“We need to create synergies within the [public] service,“ Penn said while adding that there needs to be synergies not just within internal government departments, but within statutory organisations as well.

“We have failed the system. We have to ensure that there is a national strategy in terms of how we’re going to create these integrations and these level of efficiencies across government departments and ministries.

The Health Minister noted there needs to be a certain level of efficiency within the public service so that customers and businesses could be able to do things they needed instead of wasting their time by being away from their jobs for hours.


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  1. Justice says:

    Unfortunately the practice of administrative law is rarely undertaken to discipline the ‘uncooperative’ members of the BVI civil service. The ‘Complaints Commissioner’ is the only recourse for most BVI residents and it’s weak at best. Alternatively some folks skip this step and complain directly to the Governor.

    Perhaps the UK could set up a free legal service for BVI residents that only prosecutes the various inept, obstructive, dishonest, uncooperative, etc. civil servants that believe they are immune from the principles of good governance.

  2. Watchman says:

    Ok, dint realize we had House of Assembly yesterday Sunday.

  3. see dem fighting fah power says:

    Is he throwing words at Carvin because he fought for a seat on the unity government and still fighting for leadership of the NDP?

  4. Redstorm says:

    So correct!

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