The Ministry of Public Health’s Permanent Secretary (PS) Trevor Thomas has been relieved of his duties, with effect from March 1, 2017. This comes on the heels of a report from a Commission of Inquiry (COI) which was conducted into the unauthorised disclosure of information on the procurement of pharmaceuticals at the Ministry of Public Health.
This was reported by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at a post-Cabinet press briefing today, at the Ministry of the Presidency. Reports coming out of the COI reveal that PS Trevor Thomas was “willingly evasive and deceptive in his testimony.”
The report also indicated that the leaking of internal information seemed to be a normal practice and had previously led to the dismissal of former Permanent Secretary, Leslie Cadogan and Prakash Sookdeo, former Head of the Procurement Department.
The Minister noted that one of the recommendations coming out of the report is to have the PS removed from his office. Minister Harmon said that certain courses of actions were taken, adding that “effective from March 1, 2017, the Permanent Secretary has been removed from that office.”
Deputy Permanent Secretary Collette Adams will act as Permanent Secretary until a replacement is found. However, the Minister pointed out that several other significant recommendations were made by the COI.
Minister Harmon explained that, “the Minister of Public Health has actually started taking actions on some of them. She has actually gone around to some of the units where procurement is taking place, and actually seen for herself what is happening, and therefore you can expect radical changes taking place where those things are concerned.”
Additionally, the Minister says that significant changes will be taking place with regards Permanent Secretaries shortly.