Deputy Governor warns CS to remain impartial

| 13/03/2013

unbiased.png(CNS): With only ten weeks to go before the general election in May, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has issued a circular to the Cayman Islands civil service reminding public servants that they must remain impartial during the course of the election campaign. Manderson told government workers that they must maintain the “highest standards of performance and professionalism” throughout the period leading up to Election Day. Although he urged them to exercise their democratic right to vote, he said the civil servants’ code of conduct prevented them from being actively involved in any political campaigns on behalf of any candidate or party.

“Officers should not undertake any activity that could call into question the political impartiality,” said Manderson, in the administrative circular sent out on Tuesday 12 March and released to the press.

He reminded public sector workers that the dissolution ofthe Legislative Assembly, which takes place in less than two weeks, does not affect the day-to-day business of government as Cabinet members all retain responsibility for their ministries until the results of the election are announced.

Reprinting part of the civil servants' code of conduct, he pointed out that public sector workers must be politically neutral and serve the government of the day. He said that civil servants, as members of the public, have a right to be politically informed but they must ensure their participation in political matters or debate does not conflict with their obligations to be politically neutral.

According to the code of conduct, civil servants cannot be actively involved in political meetings by speaking or even sitting on the platform of a particular party; they cannot distribute literature or write political speeches, promote political candidates or a political party; they are not allowed to write letters to the press, give interviews to the media supporting any particular candidate or party; they cannot canvas or collect funds on behalf of politicians or hold office in political parties; they cannot even place bumper stickers on their own cars supporting political candidates.

Manderson pointed out that public servants cannot provide information regarding the operation of government, its policy initiatives, internal correspondence or management of decision made by government other than through the proper channels, such as via the freedom of information law. The code of conduct tells civil servants that all official information is confidential and must not be disclosed without authorization.

See circular below.

Category: Politics

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is it 'biased' to suggest that, constiutionally, retired civil servants should not be runnilng the election??

    Huh, huh??

    And, while you're at it, please remove all the expat + politically-appointed "Consultants/Advisors" – many of whom are retirees!

    They ae sucking our country dry!

  2. Buffalo Bill says:

    Manderson told government workers that we must maintain the highest standards of performance and professionalism.  We never done that before and we been getting along just fine.  I not sure just what it means.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That coin has too sides Franz – there is also victimization from politicians toward civil servants.

    • peter milburn says:

      Isnt it time to change this outdated law.The question of human rights comes in here possibly?Just curious.

    • Anonymous says:

      How about telling some of these politicians not to be so vendictive and dirty, while hiding under a bible?!

  4. Anonymous says:

    That’s half the population!

  5. Uncivil Servant says:

    Why would you want to do that? Particularly at a senior level, when you could be rewarded with permanent gardening leave from the end of May until all eternity?

  6. Anonymous says:

    According to the code of conduct, civil servants cannot be actively involved in political meetings by speaking or even sitting on the platform of a particular party; they cannot distribute literature or write political speeches, promote political candidates or a political party; they are not allowed to write letters to the press, give interviews to the media supporting any particular candidate or party; they cannot canvas or collect funds on behalf of politicians or hold office in political parties; they cannot even place bumper stickers on their own cars supporting political candidates.

     

    Don't worry about it Franz.  Those things sound too much like work.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The idea that all official information is automatically confidential might be where one of your problems lies.

    • Anonymous says:

      No kidding!

    • Anonymous says:

      No such idea. FOI Law.

      • Anonymous says:

        FOI Commissioner we need to hear your answer,  to determine the rights of the Civil Servants in relation to the Human Rights Law, General Orders and the other Laws that apply.  What is the ruling for Civil Servants?  should they stay with their mouths closed?  Cayman is not  a communist country!!!  Then where is our FREEDOM OF SPEECH???   The pattern of Civil Servants being booted out after Elections has not been thoroughly investigated, and where does the Human Rights take precedent in such mis-handling of Civil Servants???