Part VII: The Public Service

PART VII
THE PUBLIC SERVICE

 

Public Service Commission

82.—(1) There shall be a Public Service Commission for Montserrat, which shall consist of a Chairman and five other members.

(2) Of the members of the Public Service Commission—

(a) the Chairman shall be appointed by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion;

(b) one member shall be appointed by the Governor, acting in accordance with the advice of the Premier;

(c) one member shall be appointed by the Governor, acting after consultation with the Premier;

(d) one member shall be appointed by the Governor, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition;

(e) one member shall be appointed by the Governor, acting after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition; and

(f) one member shall be appointed by the Governor, acting after consultation with the Civil Servants Association.

(3) The members of the Public Service Commission shall be appointed by instrument under the public seal for such period, not being less than two years nor more than four years, as may be specified in their respective instruments of appointment.

(4) No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a member of the Public Service Commission if he or she is or has been within the preceding three years—

(a) an elected member of the Legislative Assembly;

(b) the holder of any office in any political party; or

(c) a public officer.

(5) The office of a member of the Public Service Commission shall become vacant—

(a) at the expiration of the period specified in the instrument by which he or she was appointed;

(b) if he or she resigns his or her office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Governor;

(c) if he or she becomes an elected member of the Legislative Assembly, the holder of any office in any political party, or a public officer; or

(d) if the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, directs that he or she shall be removed from office for inability to discharge the functions of his or her office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) or for misbehaviour.

(6) Whenever the office of the Chairman of the Public Service Commission is vacant or the holder of that office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of that office, such one of the other members of the Commission as the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may appoint shall act in the office of the Chairman; and any person so appointed shall, subject to subsection (5), continue so to act until he or she is notified by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, that the circumstances giving rise to the appointment have ceased to exist.

(7) If the office of a member of the Public Service Commission other than the Chairman is vacant or the holder of that office is acting as the Chairman or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office, the Governor, acting in the manner prescribed by subsection (2) for the appointment of that member, may appoint a person who is qualified for appointment as a member of the Commission to act as a member of the Commission; and any person so appointed shall, subject to subsection (5), continue so to act until he or she is notified by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, that the circumstances giving rise to the appointment have ceased to exist.

(8) No business shall be transacted at any meeting of the Public Service Commission if there are less than four members of the Commission present including the Chairman.

(9) Any question proposed for decision at any meeting of the Public Service Commission shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members of the Commission; and if on any question the votes are equally divided the Chairman shall have and exercise a casting vote.

(10) The Public Service Commission shall be served by a secretariat, the members of which shall be public officers.

(11) The Public Service Commission must be impartial and must exercise its functions without fear, favour or prejudice, in the interest of the maintenance of effective and efficient public administration and a high standard of professional ethics in the public service.

(12) Subject to subsection (8), the Public Service Commission may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and its proceedings shall be valid even though some person who was not entitled to do so took part in them.

 

Functions and operation of Public Service Commission

83.—(1) The Public Service Commission shall have—

(a)such advisory functions in relation to the appointment, discipline and removal of public officers; and

(b)such oversight and other functions in relation to the public service,

as may be prescribed by law.

(2) The Legislature may by law make further provision for the Public Service Commission not inconsistent with this Constitution.

(3) No law, and nothing done by the Public Service Commission under any law, may in any way affect the powers conferred on the Governor by sections 84(3) and (4) and 85(3) and (4).

Appointment, discipline and removal of public officers

84.—(1) Power to make appointments to public offices, and to remove or exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices, shall be exercised by the Deputy Governor in accordance with section 24 and subject to regulations made under this section.

(2) The Deputy Governor shall consult with the Premier before appointing any person to the office of permanent secretary.

(3) Regulations made by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may provide for the delegation to any other public officer, to such extent and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed in the regulations, of any of the powers conferred on the Deputy Governor by section 24(2)(a).

(4) Where the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, determines that the exercise of the powers conferred on the Deputy Governor by section 24(2)(a) or delegated to another public officer pursuant to subsection (3) would prejudice Her Majesty’s service, the Governor shall give directions as to the exercise of those powers to the Deputy Governor or, as the case may be, the other public officer to whom powers have been delegated, and the Deputy Governor or, as the case may be, the other public officer shall comply with those directions.

(5) This section shall not apply to—

(a) any office mentioned in section 85;

(b) any office in the police service.

 

Particular offices

85.—(1) Power to make appointments to the offices of Deputy Governor and Financial Secretary is vested in the Governor, acting after consultation with the Premier, and, subject to subsection (5), power to remove or exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in either office is vested in the Governor, acting in his or her discretion.

(2) Power to make appointments to the offices of Attorney-General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Registrar of the High Court, and to any other office requiring legal qualifications as may be prescribed by law, and, subject to subsection (5), to remove or exercise disciplinary control over any person holding or acting in any such office, is vested in the Governor, acting after consultation with the Chief Justice.

(3) If any law provides for the Public Service Commission to provide advice to the Governor in the exercise of his or her powers under subsections (1) and (2), the Governor shall act otherwise than in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission if the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, determines that compliance with that advice would prejudice Her Majesty’s service.

(4) Power to make appointments to the office of Commissioner of Police, and to remove or exercise disciplinary control over any person holding or acting in that office, is vested in the Governor, acting after consultation with the Premier.

(5) A person holding the office of Deputy Governor, Attorney-General, Financial Secretary or Director of Public Prosecutions may be removed from office only for inability to discharge the functions of his or her office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) or for misbehaviour, and with the prior approval of a Secretary of State.

 

Applicability of pensions law

86.—(1) Subject to section 88, the law applicable to the grant and payment to any officer, or to his or her widow or widower, children, dependants or personal representatives, of any pension, gratuity or other like allowance (in this section and in sections 87 and 88 referred to as “an award”) in respect of the service of that officer in a public office shall be that in force on the relevant day or any later law not less favourable to the person concerned.

(2) For the purposes of this section the relevant day is—

(a) in relation to an award granted before the appointed day, the day on which the award was granted;

(b) in relation to an award granted or to be granted on or after the appointed day to or in respect of a person who was a public officer before that day, the day immediately before that day;

(c) in relation to an award granted or to be granted to or in respect of a person who first becomes a public officer on or after the appointed day, the day on which he or she becomes a public officer.

(3) For the purposes of this section, in so far as the law applicable to an award depends on the option of the person to or in respect of whom it is granted or to be granted, the law for which he or she opts shall be taken to be more favourable to him or her than any other law for which he or she might have opted.

(4) In this section “the appointed day” means the date of commencement of this Constitution.

 

Pensions, gratuities and allowances charged on Consolidated Fund

87.  Awards granted under any law shall (except so far as they are a charge on some other fund and are duly paid out of that fund to the person to whom payment is due) be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

 

Grant and withholding of pensions, gratuities and allowances

88.—(1) The power to grant any award under any pensions law (other than an award to which, under that law, the person to whom it is payable is entitled as of right) and, in accordance with any provisions in that respect contained in any such law, to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend any award payable under any such law is vested in the Governor, acting after consultation with the Public Service Commission.

(2) In this section, “pensions law” means any law relating to the grant to any person, or to the widow or widower, children, dependants or personal representatives of that person, of an award in respect of the services of that person in a public office, and includes any instrument made under any such law..