The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs on Friday evening issued a statement addressing all but one of the issues reported by BIG Smith News Watch earlier Friday in relation to its Permanent Secretary Sharon Hicks and other developments at the Ministry.
The ministry in its statement did agree that it was the Minister Pauline Sukhai who was among those that recommended Hicks to function as the PS for her Ministry.
On the issue of the vehicle assigned to the close relative of the minister, the ministry denied that claim.
When it came to the Deputy Permanent Secretary being assigned the duties of the Permanent Secretary, the ministry indicated that this was done when Hicks was away on two weeks leave.
What the ministry failed to or refused to address the fact and reality that the Minister Pauline Sukhai and Permanent Secretary Sharon Hicks were reportedly sharing a fractured relationship that has been affecting the program roll out at the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs due to personal issues and interests.
Sharon Hicks was arrested on Thursday after a police sting operation revealed that she had in her possession monies from a contractor which were marked and serial numbers recorded.
The monies were given to Hicks as part of a contract kickback this publication was told.
BELOW IS THE FULL MINISTRY STATEMENT
The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs wishes to inform the public that on October 7, 2021 the Permanent Secretary, Sharon Hicks, has been sent on Administrative leave pending the outcome of a police investigation relating to the matter in the public domain.
The Ministry also wishes to respond to the issues circulating in the public about its Officials. It was the Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, whose recommendation resulted in the appointment of Ms. Hicks to the position of Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs under the PPP/C Government.
Additionally, there was one occasion when the Permanent was on a seven (7) days sick leave where the DPS was assigned the duties in her absence, putting to rest the claim that the DPS was executing the duties of the Permanent Secretary while she was on duty.
The Ministry wishes to state that at no time was any vehicle registered to the Ministry assigned to any close relative of the Minister.