IN February of this year I published in the public media of St Lucia the contempt and negligence of the Government of St Lucia in resolving the payment of my terminal benefits, which is overdue by about four years!
That disrespect is displayed in two ways: 1. The refusal by the ministry of public service to provide me with information that I have the need and right to know; and 2. The breach of the statutory orders of the constitution by allowing four years to lapse without honouring the obligation of the constitution that is under the purview of the public service ministry
The decision to use the public domain was regrettable, but necessary. Since 2011, I have written a dozen letters seeking to get the issue of terminal benefits resolved, but to date I am yet to receive a response. Earlier this year, I also wrote to the prime minister and minister of finance and he too is yet to respond.
This type of behaviour reminds me of the allegory that characterizes George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-four, in which information blackout and doublespeak are employed by Big Brother to control access to information.
But Orwell’s satire depicts life in the pre-1990 totalitarian Soviet state, not St Lucia, a free little society which even espouses a freedom of information act.
So far, two of my three-step strategy — administrative and media — have been used to a sufficiently exhaustive degree. I am therefore staring at the third and final solution — civil due process — an option that I shall exercise as soon as I deem propitious.
I hope the government, especially the finance and public service ministries, will heed this final call to stave off what is still an avoidable embarrassment.
Peter C Maximin