PM Douglas says new Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security identified, but process and procedures must be followed

Prime Minister Douglas

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 7TH 2011 (CUOPM) – A Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs has been identified, but the process which would affect other ministries and involve the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Governor General must be followed.

“A new Permanent Secretary has been identified. That of course means the Permanent Secretary has to be brought from somewhere else and that in itself involves a process.

There is a public service system in place and even though there is a decision at the political level to search for and find the appropriate person to head the ministry as the Chief Executive Officer/Chief Administrative Officer or Manager, it has to go through a process which involves the Public Service Commission and His Excellency the Governor General. I believe that once the process is completed, we will see the necessary settling down of the new ministry and other ministries which are going to be affected as a result,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

Responding to a telephone caller during his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister,” on Tuesday, Dr. Douglas confirmed that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mr. Elvis Newton, has been identified as the person to lead as the Chief Executive Officer or the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Immigration, Labour and Social Security.

He pointed out that Mr. Newton has been a senior civil servant for some 16 years and is the most senior civil servant next to the Chief Secretary, Mr. Joseph Edmeade.

“And I believe that Mr. Newton would be able to give his best. He has quite a wide range of experience, is highly trained in Public Administration and he has been a Permanent Secretary for at least 11 to 12 years and brings a wealth of experience to the Ministry. There is no doubt in my mind that that ministry will eventually settle in,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

Dr. Douglas also pointed out that with the identification of Mr. Newton, a new Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Social Services will have to be selected.

“Again there is a process and procedures. Although we might have identified people and the process has started,” said Dr. Douglas. He pointed out that both Mr. Newton and his Minister, the Hon. Marcella Liburd were in Washington on a Health Ministry assignment and only returned to the Federation last Saturday, September 30th.

“They were part of my delegation at the United Nations in New York and were also in Washington, D.C. when I was there at the PAHO, CARPHA and WHO meetings,” Prime Minister Douglas told listeners to the programme which is syndicated on several radio stations.

“I believe that in time all these things will be settled. There is really no problem. I don’t know why anyone would think there is a problem. There is no problem. Everything is in train and the processes are being carried out. It would not be proper for the Public Service Commission to hear announced that someone is a Permanent Secretary in a ministry when it has not been sanctioned and recommended by that body and also approved by the Governor General,” said Dr. Douglas.

Cabinet recently approved the reassignment of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force to the Office of the Prime Minister and the creation of a Ministry of Homeland Security from the previously named Ministry of National Security.

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