In accordance with the Public Service Act, Mr. Andrew Horton, a public officer in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was appointed as Authorised Officer to conduct a review of an ongoing public service matter. In accordance with the Public Service Act, a delegation under the Montserrat Constitution was required for this purpose.
Governor Andrew Pearce in his March 1 2022 press conference stated, that due to the nature of the issue a public officer with sufficient independence from the subject matter and the requisite training was assigned to review the case and make recommendations.
Contrary to reports of a “massive change” in public service disciplinary procedures, the Public Service Commission still performs its full functions under the Montserrat Constitution and the Public Service Act. Mr. Horton’s appointment is for a specific matter and will not extend to other disciplinary matters as the reporting on this has suggested. As the wording of S.R.O 12 of 2022 states, Mr. Horton has no authority to review any matter not specifically referred by the Governor or Deputy Governor.
It is regrettable that clarification was not sought before the media reported on this ‘massive change’ in public service procedures. The Deputy Governor is strongly advising all media houses to seek clarification from the relevant persons to avoid misrepresentation and incomplete reporting