Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn has blasted the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Guyson Mayers for simultaneously wearing an official party politics hat, that of new general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
Franklyn raised alarm that the move indicated there was “no little bit of integrity”. He was at the time debating the Public Service (General) Order, 2018 in the Senate.
“That would never happen when people have a little bit of integrity. The thing is, the commissioner is not on these boards where the minister responsible can revoke their appointments, they have to misbehave in office and there is some little tribunal or whatever to take them out or they resign if they know better,” Franklyn told colleagues on the floor of the Upper Chamber.
Mayers, an attorney-at-law, was nominated as general secretary last Sunday at the annual party conference, beating his challenger Damien Griffith by 28 votes to secure a total of 186.
Mayers took over from stalwart George Pilgrim, who contested the St John seat in the May 24 general election but lost to the Barbados Labour Party’s Charles Griffith.
Franklyn told Senate colleagues he was still in disbelief after learning Mayers was holding dual roles as head of the nonpartisan police personnel overseer and top political partisan.
“You can imagine the general secretary of a political party is the chairman of the Police Service Commission . . . I don’t believe that anybody with any modicum of decency would have done that,” said Franklyn, who accused Mayers of wanting to hold on to both posts so he could “put his people” in various positions.
“They got reappointed February or March this year, so they got three years into making sure that the Barbados Labour Party don’t get its way and that all the Dems they can find they are going to put in jobs – friends and family and lodge brothers and Dems, that is what will be appointed in the public service for the next three years and in the police force if you people don’t do something about it. It is horrendous,” Franklyn complained.
Arguing that the practice of politicians appointing their friends and families in positions even if they were not qualified has been taking place over the past decade, the outspoken parliamentarian said he was surprised that people did not want to speak about it.
“It is horrendous, the Government has to do something about it. They need to say ‘look, put a little respectability, bring the commission back to a little decorum and decency, have people who, even if they are partisan, don’t wear it on their sleeve because it is an offence for a public servant to hold office in a political party,’” he suggested.