ANYONE CAN NOMINATE
ELAINE FOSTER Allen, educator and a former permanent secretary, believes that not enough persons are aware that anyone can nominate someone for a national honour, and this has left the nominations in the hands of senior public servants and politicians. This, she lamented, has led, partially, to national honours being awarded to persons who seem to be aligned with one political administration or another.
“Sometimes it is difficult to apply the criteria to the award granted to some persons,” Foster Allen commented. She emphasised that the awards are meant to celebrate excellence in a field or fields of endeavour, and that they should recognise sustained effort and performance and not just long service which might, in fact, be mediocre.
Foster Allen said that a national system of honours and awards must point to certain principles which can be recognised, and affirmed as “tried and tested principles that are good for the nation”.