House to hear more about Sydney Bartley issue today

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter

Tuesday, March 18, 2014    

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The issues relating to the current position of permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture are among several questions from the Opposition to be answered when the House of Representatives resumes this afternoon.

Opposition spokeswoman Olivia 'Babsy' Grange had tabled questions, seeking to establish whether Sydney Bartley is still acting in the post, or has been removed for disciplinary reasons.

Minister of youth and culture Lisa Hanna has insisted that she is not backing down from her position that Bartley cannot continue as the permanent secretary, based on allegations of misbehaviour reported to her.

Bartley took the matter to court, in an attempt to block the ministry's efforts to force his early retirement, after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him.

Hanna has stated in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court that, while she has no power to retire or dismiss Bartley, she believes that there are trust and integrity implications which would affect him continuing in his post at the ministry. Bartley was appointed to act as permanent secretary in the ministry in January last year.

Minister of local government and community development, Noel Arscott, is also expected to answer two sets of questions from the Opposition's spokesman Desmond McKenzie,.

The first has to do with the redeploypment of Christopher Powell, who was recently transferred from his position as secretary/manager for the Manchester Parish Council to a similar position in the St Mary Parish Council, amidst claims of political influence from the PNP-dominated Manchester council.

The second is whether the Government is fulfilling its commitment to the public, in terms of the provision of street lights and providing funding from increased property taxes to meet the bill and ensure a proper service.

The House will also debate two fiscal accountability bills: the Public Bodies Management and Accountability (Amendment) Act, 2014; and the Financial Administration and Audit (Amendment) Act, 2014.

Two resolutions — the Bauxite (Production Levy) Act Capital Development Fund (Withdrawal) (Number 2) Order, 2014, Resolution, and the Customs Tariff (Revision) Amendment Resolution, 2014 — are also to be debated.

The debate on Ministry Paper #40 of 2013, concerning the proposed Government Food and Nutrition Policy, will be concluded.





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