Retiring: Cabinet Secretary Donald Scott. *File photos
Retiring: Cabinet Secretary Donald Scott. *File photos

With just a week to go before the retirement of Cabinet Secretary Donald Scott, rumours are swirling about who will take his place.

But many in Government say they are “in the dark” about possible moves or reappointments.

As Cabinet Secretary, whoever fills Mr Scott’s shoes will head the Civil Service and be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the operations of Government affairs and delivery of services. The Cabinet Secretary is also chief policy advisor to the Premier.

One civil servant, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “They’ve thrown Dr (Derrick) Binns’ name out there to become Cabinet Secretary, but I don’t know.

“They need to make an announcement soon as they’ve only got a week before Mr Scott goes.” 

Asked about a move to Cabinet, Dr Binns told the Sun: “I have no idea; that’s not a decision for me (to make).”

On a potential reshuffle, he said: “That’s a matter for the Public Service Commission and then the ball starts rolling from there.”

Dr Binns, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Planning, has extensive experience in the Civil Service.

He was the first psychologist for prisons and worked in the Prisons Service for 10 years, also leading a team in the redesign of Bermuda’s prison system. From there he moved to the National Drug Commission and was its chief executive officer from 1997.

Dr Binns then became Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Services, from 2001.

He has also served as Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Community Affairs and Sport; Ministry of Works and Engineering; Ministry of Labour, Home Affairs and Housing; and Assistant Cabinet Secretary.

Rozy Azhar, former Chief Immigration Officer, is another name emerging as a possible successor to Donald Scott.

Ms Azhar is currently acting Assistant Cabinet Secretary (Deputy Head of the Civil Service) following Judith Hall Bean’s retirement last month. She is also Assistant Cabinet Secretary (Performance and Service Delivery).

Another potential candidate is Kevin Monkman, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Seniors.

A career civil servant, he has held various positions in Government over the past 30 years, including Permanent Secretary for Health and Family Services; Social Rehabilitation; Environment and Sports; and Education.

But yesterday Mr Monkman’s secretary said he was “on leave”.

Major Marc Telemaque, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Public Safety, is another experienced civil servant whose name is rumoured to have been considered for the top post of Cabinet Secretary.

Major Telemaque formerly held the position under the previous PLP Government and has also served as Permanent Secretary of Transport, and Acting Head of the Civil Service after Major Kenneth Dill’s retirement in 2010.

He was the youngest person in Government history to be appointed Acting Cabinet Secretary in 2006, at the age of 36.

He did not wish to comment yesterday.

Mr Scott retires after 27 years as a senior manager and executive in the Civil Service. His roles have included Financial Secretary; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Services; and Chief Statistician.

He began his career with Government in 1972 as a statistical clerk. His retirement also leaves the post of Head of the Civil Service open.

Among other positions to be filled in the Civil Service is the post of Permanent Secretary of Education. Warren Jones resigned last month, to move to the private sector after 13 years serving the Bermuda Government.

Mr Scott told the Sun: “The assignment of permanent secretaries to ministries of Government is handled by the Secretary to the Cabinet. 

“It would not be appropriate for me to speculate about changes that will occur following my retirement. Those changes will be handled by my successor.”

The Public Service Commission was unavailable for comment yesterday.