Public Service agency, not PM, will decide if action will be taken against Luke Browne
February 5, 2013
Public Service agency, not PM, will decide if action will be taken against Luke Browne

The Public Service Commission and not Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves will determine if action will be taken against Luke Browne over his newspaper letter about the Building and Loan Association.{{more}}

Browne is an economist at the Ministry of Finance, which Gonsalves also heads.

But Gonsalves said yesterday that he has no authority to do anything to any public servant who writes or says anything.

He further said there were some traducing Browne as being a senior employee in the Ministry of Finance.

“First of all, Luke Browne is not a senior employee,” Gonsalves explained.

He further said Browne is employed as a research economist with special focus on pension reform.

“Having said that, he is subject to the rules and regulations of the Public Service and I would expect that the person that heads that part of the Public Service, not me, would communicate with him to remind him of those regulations, because you can’t write about matters,” the prime minister said.

And while criminal sanctions have been removed against any public servant writing or speaking against the Government or on its policy, public servants are still subject to the sector’s rules and regulations, the prime minister noted.

“Luke is employed as a public servant and you don’t put it more that that; rules govern how they write on issues,” Gonsalves said.

Meanwhile, Browne told SEARCHLIGHT on Friday that, contrary to some reports, the prime minister had not reprimanded him for the letter in which he asked if the Building and Loan Association was about to collapse.

“The prime minister has always and continues to be very respectful of my views,” Browne said.

Browne, who ran for Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party in the 2010 general elections, however, said the prime minister has provided guidance based on “his vast political and other experience”. (DD)