Minister Dennis Moses, in his response to a question in Parliament on Dominica which was due more than a month ago but was only answered yesterday, should hold his head in shame for not being man enough to accept responsibility for the OAS fiasco.
Instead he shamelessly placed the blame on his Permanent Secretary.
In the first place, based on the concept of Ministerial Responsibility he had a duty to accept responsibility for all actions in his Ministry whether he was involved or not. This is an accepted convention and an accepted policy in the Westminster system to which we are committed.
In the second place the Minister must tell us why he did not put systems in place to ensure that all decisions taken in his Ministry were properly analysed, consensually developed and approved. These systems were clearly nonexistent.
Thirdly Minister Moses cannot get away without telling the citizens of T&T whether or not his Ministry had an approved policy of not supporting fee waivers for CARICOM countries ravaged by hurricanes. Instead, T&T would support a deferral of fees since, given our financial circumstances, we were in no position to make increased payments which would arise if Dominica’s fees were waived.
The Minister must tell us whether this policy of deferral of fees was articulated in at least 4 regional meetings and whether or not he played a part in its development.
If in fact it was settled policy that T&T would support a deferral instead of a waiver, how could the Permanent Secretary be blamed for carrying out the policy of the Ministry and directing our Ambassador to vote as he did?
Minister Moses, true to form, demonstrated that he is out of his depth concerning technology which facilitates instant communication, when he stated that a WhatsApp message was an unacceptable means of communicating.
For urgent matters, any instant form of communication would be favoured by most competent bosses. What systems were therefore in place for responding to urgent communications, especially on weekends or in crisis situations, from diplomats abroad that required an immediate response?
It is clear that Minister Moses is out of his depth in the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs and should save us all from the embarrassment of having him as our face at global fora.
Passing the blame to a public servant is a shameless act and a dereliction of Ministerial Responsibility, representing the actions of someone lacking in Ministerial competence at best and at worst, of a very incompetent administrator who should do the honourable thing and resign.