Works Minister Kye Rymer said he believes the antiquated General Orders that govern the way public service officers operate should be revised.
While debating the Integrity in Public Life Act during a virtual appearance of the House of Assembly recently, Minister Rymer said the General Orders, first introduced in 1971, were last updated nearly forty years ago in 1982.
“My recommendation would be for the General Orders to also be revised so that it could fall in line with what this Integrity in Public Life Act would entail,” Rymer stated.
Among other things, the General Orders dictate channels of communication open to public officers, at times restricting their ability to speak out on issues that are of concern to them.
The Works Minister said he was aware that the General Orders were being worked on previously, but suggested this should now be fast-tracked to bring it up to date with what is happening locally and elsewhere globally.
He further suggested that the General Orders be allowed to complement some of the new and updated legislation that is being passed in the House of Assembly.
When it first entered office, the Virgin Islands
Party (VIP) government declared in a Speech from the Throne its intention to introduce a Public Service Management Bill which was expected to replace the current General Orders.
At the time, it said this was to provide a legal framework for the overall management, organisational structure, administration and proper establishment of the public service.
Meanwhile, Rymer also expressed happiness at the introduction of a compensation and job reclassification project that he said would benefit a lot of public officers, some of whom may feel they are not properly compensated.
Minister Rymer described the BVI’s public service as first-class and said he could vouch for this since he had worked in the sector for some years.