Lenard Montoute, former Public Service, has sharply criticized Prime Minister Doctor Kenny Anthony over recent comments about the public service.
Addressing Principals at their annual conference earlier this week, Anthony cited a crisis of leadership in the public service, although its members are “decorated” with various university degrees.
Montoute told the Times he is surprised to hear such comments from the Prime Minister, whom he described as having made a career of attacking public servants.
He said when Anthony came into office he collected individuals from his political platform and operatives of his party and gave them high positions in the public service above other public servants.
Montoute asserted that those over whom the newcomers were promoted had a reasonable expectation that they would move up the ladder because of their commitment, dedication and training.
The former Public Service Minister told the Times:
“When they are bypassed in this way by people whom they very often have to help themselves, what do you expect, naturally you will have a demoralized and demotivated public service.”
Montoute also said that public servants have to deal with intimidation.
He explained that when there is political interference, public servants feel intimidated and withdraw into a shell.
“For leadership to thrive there must be an ideal atmosphere and conditions must be right,” the former Gros Islet MP observed.
While acknowledging that the public service has always had problems, Montoute was of the view that there are good public servants as well as those who need to be “pulled up.”
“If Doctor Anthony demonstrates proper leadership in a democratic environment then I can see the leadership that I know exists in the public service will grow and blossom,” the former Minister declared.