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Now queries over CEO at Education Ministry
On the heels of the fiasco concerning the appointment of a junior officer to head the Strategic Services Agency (SSA), questions are now facing Education Minister Tim Gopeesingh about the performance of a top ministry job by an employee, ahead of selection for the post. Information came to light yesterday—along with concerns—regarding the duties of Chief Education Officer (CEO) at the Education Ministry which are allegedly being performed by a ministry official although no appointment had been made.
Gopeesingh last night halted queries on the issue, saying his communication team will respond on it today. Gopeesingh, who said he was at a function, said he had received media calls on the issue. He said twice that he did not know the details of the queries on the issue and could not respond. He also did not respond when asked if he knew the employee in question. The position of CEO is said to be part of the established post within the Public Service and is the chief technical officer of the ministry. The position is also described as a higher range than that of deputy permanent secretary.
According to information on the issue, the position was first advertised in March 2009 following the retirement of Peter O’Neil. It is understood that interviews for the position were conducted late last year by the Teaching Service Commission (TSC). But no appointment has reportedly been made to date, it is understood. Allegedly, a school supervisor has been performing the CEO’s duties since November and has been introduced as the acting CEO.
Information on the issue indicates that a recommendation was made to the TSC for a senior officer to be appointed to act as CEO. But this was allegedly “overruled” and the other officer was appointed. Questions have come to the fore regarding Gopeesingh’s alleged role in the issue in view of the regulations outlined by the Teaching Service Commission Act. This states that where a vacancy occurs in an office “as a general rule” the senior officer is eligible for such an acting appointment. It was noted that positions are based on seniority and on the recommendations of the permanent secretary. Concerns have been expressed whether this issue will drag on since the TSC’s tenure ends this year. (GA)
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