Just over three weeks after being appointed Public Service Minister, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley reportedly sent the entire personnel department and the chief accountant packing on Friday.
According to information received, the Minister claimed that the department is moving in a different direction and that the services of the old staff will no longer be required.
A source related that the Minister does not have the authority to dismiss any staff member.
“As far as I know, a Minister does not have the authority to dismiss any staff… it is [the] duty of the Permanent Secretary to do so. To make matters worse, she had the police escort them out of the building at Lot 164 Waterloo Street as if they were criminals,” the source recalled.
Some of these staff members, he noted, have been working at the Ministry for the past fifteen years. The source posited that the other staff members, as well as those sent packing, were in tears as they were being escorted out of the building.
“The Minister then sent the driver into the accounts department to collect money and changed the locks at the Department of Public Service and only she has the key to the building and all the offices.”
It was reported that Minister Sarabo-Halley had been requesting the files of all staff members and making judgments based on the information she gathered from the files.
The source added that the Minister seems to be confused about her role as a Minister and in only three weeks, she has taken control and oversight of every aspect of the day-to-day running of the DPS.
“The Minister is not supposed to be involved in that,” the source said.
Minister Sarabo-Halley stated that she did not wish to offer a comment on the matter at the time when contacted.