Well, from Jamaica, this is interesting:
PM Golding has invoked the Staff Orders rule that says governmental officials must keep their traps shut when their individual positions conflict with existing gov’t policy. Not an atypical move for him to make. But, it really does and should sweet us when we see cracks in the veneer of retrograde, unsubstantiated policies, that come in the form of truth-telling, even if the labba-mouth will probably lose their jobs.
Especially given the exchange that's been occurring on Rick Lowe's BlogBahamas and Larry Smith's Bahama Pundit about the responsibility of civil servants to speak out about the wrongs and the cracks in the society.
President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, Wayne Jones, said the Government's Staff Orders outline a mode of behaviour for public officers, as it relates to their interaction with the public.
Jones told The Gleaner yesterday that Section 4.4 of the order points to how government material or documents should be shared with the media through the permanent secretary, head of department or designated spokespersons.Jones said Harvey would not be able to express a personal view, particularly on topical issues, without the media and other persons in society construing it to be government thinking.He acknowledged that public officials would be faced with situations where they might be asked to express a professional or personal view on a matter.
Come on, people of the Caribbean. Do or do we not live in democracies? What is the responsibility of those of us employed in governments to our nation? What is gained by the kinds of restrictions applied to civil servants that are outlined in the documents we inherited from the Brits (who remain subjects, and not citizens, in their own land, by the way)? Weren't they written when only a small number of people worked for government, and when our lands were colonies anyway and when freedom of speech was not something anyone had at all? Why are they still being invoked today, when our governments are major (in The Bahamas' case, the largest) employers? Does this not seem to be at odds with the idea of a democracy?
Nevertheless. General Orders stands. Our Rules of Conduct may be found here. Go read for yourself.