(CMR) His Excellency Governor Martyn Roper and Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson say they both support the decision taken by Premier Wayne Panton to take away Ministerial duties from Bernie Bush following a breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.
Mr. Bush was stripped of his duty as Minister of Home Affairs and suspended for two weeks based on his “conduct and comments about the staffing of the Fire Service,” which the Premier said was an infringement of Section 55 of the Constitution and breach of Section 2.4 of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.
Mr. Roper and Mr. Manderson both issued statements in response to the breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct by Minister Bush.
Mr. Roper stated, “I support the decision taken by the Premier with regards to Minister Bush and understand his reasons for taking these measures. It is crucial to the good functioning of our democracy that Ministers respect the constitutional boundaries and separation of powers.”
The Governor pointed out that Section 55 of the Constitution clearly states that public service appointments and civil service issues are the Governor's responsibility, a power primarily delegated to the Deputy Governor as Head of the Civil Service.
“Our good governance rests on full observance of our Constitution, and I urge all elected representatives to fully respect the separation of powers. For example, Ministers who use their position to influence which individual is selected for public service roles would be infringing on the Constitution and represents political interference,” he continued.
Mr. Roper reiterated that “Ministers have a responsibility to act with integrity and to uphold the highest standards of behavior towards everyone in our community, in particular, our civil servants with whom they work closely. For its part, the civil service will continue to do its utmost to implement Ministers' objectives and policies'.”
Mr. Manderson said he also supports the decision taken by the Premier with regards to Minister Bush.
“As Head of the Civil Service, I am responsible for ensuring all staff feel respected and valued in the workplace. I take these responsibilities seriously and when concerns are brought to my attention, as in this case, I will take action as set out in the Public Service Management Act,” he stated.
“It is also my duty to ensure that the civil service remains apolitical. Now that action has been taken to address the serious concerns raised by civil servants, I will ensure that the Civil Service continues to serve the Elected Government and work to make the lives of those we serve better,” he added.