Address of His Excellency Brigadier David Granger President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana at the Swearing-in Ceremony for the Public Service Appellate Tribunal May 17, 2017
Public Service Appellate Tribunal
The Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (at Article 215 (A)) provides for the establishment of a Public Service Appellate Tribunal.
The Public Service Appellate Tribunal was established by the Public Service Appellate Tribunal Act of 1984 which empowers the Tribunal to hear appeals from any decision of the Public Service Commission in respect of:
- The “appointment by promotion of any person to a public office” and,
- The “exercise of disciplinary control over any person providing or acting in any public office.”
The Public Service Appellate Tribunal is not a perfunctory organ. The Act (Section 23 (1)) vests the Tribunal with:
“…the power of a judge of the High Court to summon witnesses and to call for the production of books, plans and other documents, and to examine witnesses and parties concerned…”
The Public Service Appellate Tribunal is an essential element in the system of public administration. It is a necessary mechanism for the ensuring professionalism and fairness in the respect to promotions and disciplinary actions in the Public Service.
It affords public servants recourse, other than through the courts, to challenge unfair and unjust promotions, dismissals and other disciplinary action by the Public Service Commission.
Guyana’s Public Service is the muscle of public administration. The Public Service serves the public good. It ensures the efficiency and efficacy of the delivery of public services. It is responsible for:
- advising and assisting ministers of the Government;
- implementing government programmes and projects,;
- delivering public services such as defence, education, health, infrastructure; security; telecommunications and other services to the population at large;
- executing public policy are intended for the benefit of the people.
The Public Service’s work is enhanced when it is supported by a system which ensures respect for the principle of a meritocracy and the structure of a bureaucracy.
The Public Service Appellate Tribunal, therefore, as an adjudicatory body, promotes professional integrity and morale by offering guarantees for timely redress for aggrieved public servants.
The Public Service Appellate Tribunal, regrettably, has been inactive for more than two decades. This neglect has led to irregularities and inconsistencies in the Public Service. The Tribunal’s absence injured the interests of persons who felt wronged by unfair dismissals, the denial of benefits, or other disciplinary actions but who had no redress.
The Public Service Appellate Tribunal, today stands re-convened. The Tribunal’s reconstitution represents a commitment to administrative justice. It reverses decades of neglect. It restores confidence in the Government. It will boost public dervants’ morale. It will enhance professionalism in the national public administrative system.
I congratulate the newly sworn-in appointees of the Public Service Appellate Tribunal. I urge them to discharge their duties in assuring public servants are judged by their service and performance in accordance with the high standards of intelligence, integrity and impartiality – three traditional qualities of their noble profession.