Responding to a telephone caller during his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister,” on Tuesday, Dr. Douglas confirmed that the Permanent Secretary in theMinistry of Health, Mr. Elvis Newton, has been identified as the person to lead as the Chief Executive Officer or the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Immigration, Labour and Social Security.
He pointed out that Mr. Newton has been a senior civil servant for some 16 years and is the most senior civil servant next to the Chief Secretary, Mr. Joseph Edmeade.
“And I believe that Mr. Newton would be able to give his best. He has quite a wide range of experience, is highly trained in Public Administration and he has been a Permanent Secretary for at least 11 to 12 years and brings a wealth of experience to the Ministry. There is no doubt in my mind that that ministry will eventually settle in,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Dr. Douglas also pointed out that with the identification of Mr. Newton, a new Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Social Services will have to be selected.
“Again there is a process and procedures. Although we might have identified people and the process has started,” said Dr. Douglas.
The process which would affect other ministries and involve the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Governor General must be followed, said Douglas.
With Newton’s move to Homeland Security, it means the Permanent Secretary for Health has to be brought from somewhere else and that in itself involves a process. There is a public service system in place and even though there is a decision at the political level to search for and find the appropriate person to head the ministry as the Chief Executive Officer/Chief Administrative Officer or Manager, it has to go through a process which involves the Public Service Commission and His Excellency the Governor General. I believe that once the process is completed, we will see the necessary settling down of the new ministry and other ministries which are going to be affected as a result, said Prime Minister Douglas.
Cabinet recently approved the reassignment of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force to the Office of the Prime Minister and the creation of a Ministry of Homeland Security, from the previously named Ministry of National Security.