Cabinet Secretary’s responsibilities should be handed to retired public servant – Nagamootoo
Though the political party to which he belongs wants the powers of State Minister Joseph Harmon to be
reduced, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo says he has no indictment against him.
Speaking to the media on Monday Nagamootoo explained that it is not a matter of personalities but rather an issue of government functions.
“I am talking about responsibilities, how to defuse and share responsibilities so that it may not be too cumbersome on one person to handle and juggle many portfolios… and make for the work of Office [of the President] easier and one can concentrate on a specific limited area of functions,” he stated.
Moreover, Nagamootoo declared that he believes Harmon is “honest” and that he has nothing against him.
“This has nothing to do with an indictment of anyone, in particular Minister Harmon. I subscribe to the view also that he is an honest person. I have worked with him. I have nothing about his integrity,” he stated.
Furthermore, Nagamootoo expressed that the role being performed by Harmon should in fact be taken up by a retired public servant.
“The position of the Secretary to Cabinet have always been a position held by a public servant, at most a retired public servant because that is a highly specialised position with specialised duties,” he said, noting that such an individual would possess the desired traits of confidentiality.
“Ideally if you want to think of someone who can hold that position, I would say that I would be a traditionalist, go back to what could happen before the “Luncheon transition” was made, to lump everything in one person,” he stated.
On Sunday following a leadership retreat, the AFC issued a statement, noting that the party believes Minister of State Joseph Harmon has too much power.
In a statement issued on behalf of the party by Press Secretary of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Imran Khan, the AFC said the continuing revelations arising out of the appointment of the Advisor on Business Development, and the issues surrounding it, have their roots in the “concentration of the powers of the office of the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency and the effective Head of Presidential Secretariat in a single person”.
“The responsibilities of each of the above portfolios are substantial and of critical importance to the smooth operations of the Government and would benefit from separate appointments,” the AFC said in the statement.
The party said it has mandated its leadership in Cabinet to have these issues raised and addressed as a matter of national importance.