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Mitchell again criticises civil service

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs and Public Service Fred Mitchell. Photo: Racardo Thomas/Tribune Staff

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs and Public Service Fred Mitchell. Photo: Racardo Thomas/Tribune Staff

By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

tsmith-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs and Public Service Minister Fred Mitchell has again criticised the state of the civil service, saying “poison pills” have been left behind by the Minnis administration leaving the public sector wrought with “passive aggressive resistance” that needs to be fixed.

Mr Mitchell, also the Progressive Liberal Party’s chairman, repeated his call on party supporters to be patient and “hold on”.

“There’s plenty of passive aggressive resistance throughout the system; poison pills left by the last administration,” Mr Mitchell said. “I was told an extraordinary story by a public official, about why my people can’t get paid on time.

“Their answer was because Hubert Minnis called the general election unexpectedly, the whole system which budgets and payment was thrown off and so the entire system is in disarray and off balance. Well, I told you, ‘IMF’ – It’s Minnis’ Fault.

“There is a serious point behind all of this. We must fix the public administration. We must fix the institutions of government so that they can appropriately respond to what the political directorate requires. That’s a serious point.”

In showing PLP supporters the value of being patient, Mr Mitchell told a personal story as an example of the same.

“I got back from Harvard in 1980 after a glorious year abroad getting my master’s degree, expecting to return to work at ZNS,” he said. “Try as I might, I could not get a meeting with Lynden Pindling, with whom I had had an almost every day relationship with between 1977 and 1980 as the director of news at ZNS and later as a student at Harvard.

“Now I was back and I couldn’t get this meeting with him or even a return call. It took a combination of George Smith, the then-Transport Minister, and Loftus Roker, the then-National Security Minister, both of whom were my friends, to get the meeting.

“When I met Sir Lynden, he told me that I couldn’t get back to ZNS because there was resistance in management to my return and he would have to craft out a role for me somewhere else. That somewhere else was part of his office, parked in the Bahamas Information Services.”

He said his Harvard education meant nothing in this situation, nor did his history with the PLP.

“A degree from Harvard meant nothing and the work of a PLP former Centreville chair and Long Island NGC member meant nothing,” Mr Mitchell said. “. . .This was not good for the self-esteem of a 27-year-old, but I survived.

“So, why am I telling you this story? Politics is a difficult business. There’s no prescriptive or normative patterns to tell you. Each example is different and everyone has to cut their own path. But I remember the feeling of emptiness and worthlessness like it was yesterday.

“I am saying this because of the tidal wave of complaints that we are not responding to the faithful as we should with the appropriate dispatch. I want, though, to keep our rational minds and not jump to conspiracy theories. Things will ease in time. We have met ourselves in a hostile polity.”

Comments

stillwaters 6 months, 1 week ago

Setting the tone for when he fires a whole lot of civil servants to make room for 'his people '.

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stillwaters 6 months, 1 week ago

Probably being blackmailed and threatened by 'his people '.

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moncurcool 6 months, 1 week ago

This dude living in serious la la land. Is he seriously trying to blame the past administration for the mess of the civil service? How many governments, his own included, put people in the civil service not for qualifications but for party affiliation? This dude really needs to go faster than yesterday!

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ThisIsOurs 6 months, 1 week ago

Im so confused. I was with Mr Mitchell on his dismay that a well trained man could not get a job. Im not sure where hes going with telling supporters to hold on. I hope they're well qualified supporters . We seriously need to move away from this. Its only in times of crisis when the country desperately needs things to work effectively that we see the damage of sheer incompetence appointed everywhere for political favour.

We need look no further than the murder sentence that was squashed yesterday due to investigative incomptence

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themessenger 6 months, 1 week ago

Boy! For someone who is as unpopular as Mitchell and the PLP like to make out, Minnis sure still seems to have a lot of pull in the civil service, Lol. The civil service has been a hot mess since Pindling's time, as a well know Statesman once said " No longer civil, no longer servants!"

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DWW 6 months, 1 week ago

WOW. the cookie jar dun left da buildin now. can't believe he would outright say it: “I am saying this because of the tidal wave of complaints that we are not responding to the faithful as we should with the appropriate dispatch. I want, though, to keep our rational minds and not jump to conspiracy theories. Things will ease in time. We have met ourselves in a hostile polity.”

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sheeprunner12 6 months, 1 week ago

Mitchell has been in charge of the civil service on 3 occasions. What has he done???

This is a red herring for his ineptitude

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OMG 6 months, 1 week ago

Unbelievable, The PLP last time in power terminated so many FNM workers in the civil service and played the usual "hire our supporters" game. This is an obvious veiled warning that some FNM,s will be fired to make way for PLP supporters promised jobs during the election. What is really needed is the termination of so many people in made up jobs or jobs that they are not qualified for, to reduce a bloated expensive civil service.

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