Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan says that he would intervene if he establishes that nurse Sherlyn Marks, who complained about now resigned Region 5 Councillor Carol Joseph, was transferred because she had blown the whistle.Marks was abruptly transferred by Regional Executive Officer (REO) for Region Five, Ovid Morrison, a day after Stabroek News reported that she had lodged a complaint about Joseph allegedly abusing her position to access pain-killing medication from the Fort Wellington Hospital.
Bulkan told Stabroek News on Friday that his government does not want to be ever seen as targeting whistle blowers and condoning acts of retaliation against those who were brave enough to speak on out issues of corruption; especially when it promotes whistle blowing as part of its transparency mechanism.
Further, he added: “We cannot discourage whistle blowers we have to promote persons out there who are prepared and who have the courage to expose corruption wherever it may be taking place. We cannot sweep things under the carpet. Should we do so, and we are reminded by our leader that were we to adopt that approach, by 2020 the carpet would be thick and we do not want that.
One day after her story was published, in which she lamented that her complaints against Joseph’s abuse of office had seemed to fall on deaf ears of authorities, Marks was transferred from the Fort Wellington Hospital, where she was stationed.
“I remind myself every day that we came to office on a pledge and promise of change. Not continuity and it means that we can’t practice two standards. If it was wrong yesterday then it has to be wrong today because we cannot be practising continuity when we promised change. That is my position and that is where I stand,” the Minister of Communities stressed.