February 13, 2018
I have read the published opinion of Mr. Maurice Tynes, Chief Clerk of Parliament (Retired) on matters which occurred in the House of Assembly at its sitting on January 31st, 2018.
I have also read remarks attributed to the Speaker at the sitting of the House on February 7th, 2018, which remarks sought to reduce the opinion expressed by the former clerk to “an apparently politically motivated broadside attack.”
The Speaker went on at length with commentary which was most unkind to Mr. Tynes.
To use Parliament to launch an attack on any private citizen for doing no more than expressing his or her informed opinion is high-handed, abusive and retards the national ability to engage in constructive civil disclosure.
To use the Office of the Speaker to launch an attack on a former civil servant who has given sterling service to our country is gravely unfortunate.
Mr. Tynes served as a public servant for forty-nine years rising to the post of Chief Clerk of Parliament of The Bahamas in 1993, a post he held until his retirement in 2017.
There can be no reasonable contradiction of the fact that Mr. Tynes gave guidance and assistance to parliamentarians on both sides of the political divide, for decades.
He was a professional.
Neither his personal decorum nor the conduct of his parliamentary duties was influenced by partisan politics.
As a former Presiding Officer of our Parliament, I have had the opportunity to observe firsthand the high regard in which Mr. Tynes was held by the Parliamentary staff of many countries for his acute knowledge of and respect for the role of Parliament in the Westminster system of governance.
Indeed, it is the honour of The Bahamas that Mr. Tynes served as Head of the Society of Clerks at the Table for Commonwealth Parliaments.
Mr. Maurice Tynes, at the time of his recent retirement, was one of the longest serving and most respected Chief Clerks of Parliament in the countries of the Commonwealth.
For the sake of our history, no attack on Mr. Maurice Tynes should seek to diminish the service he has given to The Bahamas, and indeed the entire Commonwealth.