The odd behaviour of a senior public servant towards a junior member of staff that recently went viral on social media was most disgraceful and unacceptable to say the least. It is a reflection of the extent to which office etiquette and professionalism in the public service has plummeted.
Such examples of behaviour, are but a mere bagatelle of what obtains in the wider society.
But it is not only the actual ‘busing down’ that mattered; the fact that another member of staff who witnessed the incident decided to record it then to release it to the public was in a sense, doubly offensive. What was the recorder’s intention in recording the incident and then releasing it, thus allowing it to go viral?
Was it to embarrass the senior civil servant? Or was it to attract empathy with the junior member of staff? Or was it simply to show the power of the smart phone? To find out whether it was one or all, it is necessary to get into the recorder’s mind, but that is another subject on the metaphysics of facebook mania, a science requiring analysis by others suitably qualified.
The disgusting nature of the civil servant’s behaviour warrants a full investigation by the Public Service Commission, regardless of whether those involved are employees on contract or on the fixed pensionable establishment. And disciplinary action should be enforced where culpability is established.
To help remove such occurrences and stains on the civil service in future, the government must seek out those professional (non-openly political) civil servants, retired or active, from the so-called old school and recruit them as trainers for this new breed of civil servants who clearly are in dire and urgent need of rehabilitative, restorative, or fresh, uncontaminated training.
And as though that incident were not enough, the public, thanks again to facebook frenzy, was allowed to feast their eyes on another episode of uncontrolled, unacceptable behaviour of verbal brutality and offensiveness, this time by a senior rank of the Police Force towards a junior rank of the same institution. This verbal attack on a junior rank by a senior one which took place in full view of the public is reprehensible to say the least. But for many of us, having recently borne witness to a war of words between the two most senior cops in the press, the question could very well be asked, what else can we expect? The example set at the top would most likely manifest itself at the bottom.
Further, it would not be surprising were questions to be asked about the quality of training ranks receive at the police training college and more importantly, whether junior officers are provided with the necessary guidance on public conduct and relationships between junior and senior ranks at the annual conferences of senior officers.
Once again, this unacceptable behaviour in public by law enforcement officers brings into sharp focus the urgency for reform within the Guyana Police Force. The comment by High Commissioner Quinn to the effect that recommendations submitted by the British expert on police reform should not be relegated to a shelf to gather dust is welcomed.
In the final analysis, such unprofessional behaviour, whether it occurs in the public service or the police force, or for that matter, in any state or government institution, is utterly disgraceful and must never recur.
To make this happen, it is incumbent on the government of the day to take the necessary steps to prevent its recurrence.
Clement J Rohee