You are here
Former Sautt officers put on the breadline
Former Special Anti-crime Unit (Sautt) officers whose contracts may be terminated soon may be re-employed in a restructured Strategic Services Agency (SSA). So said National Security Minister Jack Warner in response to questions about the future of the SSA officers. The SSA comprises mainly officers from the disbanded Sautt.
According to reports, the contracts of more than 300 employees from two related National Security Ministry agencies ended yesterday. Workers from the National Security Operations Centre (NSOC) and the National Security Training Unit (NSTU) were officially put on the breadline.
Several employees of NSOC received an e-mail on October 3 from interim head of administration and human resources, Patricia Seepaul, informing them approval had been granted for the extension of the agency and its existing staff from October 1 to 31, an earlier newspaper report said.
Seepaul said the permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security advised this was the last extension for NSOC. The NSOC was set up to be a co-ordinating agency between the multiple arms of the state security apparatus after Sautt was dismantled. Employees of the NSTU were reportedly similarly informed by interim head Amber Denoon.
A source said it is believed several employees of the SSA would be similarly affected. Like Sautt, the NSTU and NSOC, created under the former PNM administration, were never legalised. Reports stated workers from the agencies go to work, do nothing and get a salary and the intention is to frustrate them into leaving.
The source said the matter of the dismissal of Sautt officers remained in limbo because of the critical intelligence they had acquired. Yesterday, asked for a response on the matter, Warner said he had asked that each worker whose contract ended should be given ex-gratia payments until January, which would give them enough time to look for other jobs.
He said the ministry had to find alternative accommodation for the workers and those from the SSA may be re-employed in the agency when it is restructured. A Sautt source said he could neither confirm nor deny whether their contracts were about to end. “Like you, we are also hearing things,” he said. “We don’t know what is going on.”
Warner spoke to the media at the Hyatt Regency, where he was one of more than a dozen ministers who turned up in support of an aggressive government road safety drive. Warner’s ministry is partnering with the Ministries of Transport and Local Government for a national road safety public awareness campaign, launched at the Hyatt yesterday.
Noting road deaths were now competing with homicides, Warner said his ministry was embarking on an aggressive traffic-law-enforcement drive. Cameras were going to be put all over the country to capture lawbreakers, he warned. “All over this country will have cameras. We will have cameras to catch thief, murderers and those breaking traffic laws. Recklessness on the roads must be a crime.
“We are bringing legislation to have cameras that will photograph people speeding and breaking lights. As we speak, they are being tested at certain locations,” Warner said. He also warned that coming soon would be police enforcement zones and increased highway patrols on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. “We could do all we want, once we don’t have enforcement, we will fail,” he said.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.