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Former minister on OAS blunder: PM should request transfer of DPS

Published: 
Monday, April 9, 2018
Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Dennis Moses

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Ralph Maraj says the move by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to refer the diplomatic blunder over Dominica matter to Ambassador Christopher Thomas is a confusing one.

Indicating the matter had occurred as a result of a break-down in communication between the Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dennis Moses and one of the acting deputy permanent secretaries in his ministry, Maraj said Rowley could have taken “alternative action.”

In a telephone interview, Maraj said Rowley could have requested the Head of the Public Service to redeploy or reassign the official to another ministry.

Claiming the reported admission by the acting deputy permanent secretary that she failed to inform Moses of the policy position was tantamount to indiscipline and insubordination, Maraj said, “I don’t agree there was a need to send the report further on to the Ambassador.”

Indicating that this had been done after Rowley pronounced on the matter, Maraj said, “It is very clear to all of us from the Prime Minister, that the acting DPS did not communicate with the Minister.”

He continued, “What I think the Prime Minister should have done if he was so minded and he himself was convinced there was a break-down in communication, was inform the head of the public service who is normally the PS in the PM’s office, of the situation and request this particular official be deployed elsewhere in the public service.”

Maraj said this was a clear case of insubordination and indiscipline and Rowley could have taken action in the circumstances if he wished.

The issue recently placed T&T in a negative light as it refused to back Dominica’s bid for waiver of its 2018-2019 OAS dues at a March 23 meeting.

During last Thursday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, Rowley revealed that a Foreign Affairs Ministry acting deputy permanent secretary eventually advised that T&T follow a February decision in which Caricom states refused to give one country a waiver on an issue different to Dominica’s.

 

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