Last update: 04-Dec-2013 12:33 pm
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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No House sittings so PSC motion in limbo
For the second consecutive week there will be no sitting of the House of Representatives, leaving in limbo a government motion to appoint four members to the Police Service Commission (PSC). Sources could not say when the House would meet again, leaving speculation rife that it may not meet before the October 21 local government elections in Trinidad.
Last week, after a tour of the Duncan Street, Port-of-Spain, $2 million police post project, Leader of Government Business and Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal said the Parliament would meet in a few days but did not give a specific date. He said the matter concerning the PSC was among the agenda items to be discussed when sittings resume.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said he had received a letter from Karl Hudson-Phillips, QC, about the qualification of the nominees submitted by President Anthony Carmona. He said he subsequently wrote to President Carmona about the matter.
Hudson-Phillips’ letter was written on behalf of former head of the public service Reginald Dumas, who has claimed two of the nominees, former Independent senator Dr James Armstrong and attorney Roamar Achat-Saney, did not meet the constitutional qualification requirements. He said the members must be “qualified and experienced in the disciplines of law, finance, sociology or management.”
Armstrong and Achat-Saney did not appear to be experienced and qualified in the fields of finance and management which were the only disciplines not found among the proposed commissioners. Meanwhile, the work of the commission, which includes the review of the performance of the acting Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Commissioners, cannot be carried out.
The commission has not been operational since July 20, when the three-year term of the four commissioners—Addison Khan, Martin George, Kenneth Parker and Jacqueline Cheesman—expired. Only PSC chairman Prof Ramesh Deosaran remains in office. His term expires next April. Hundreds of complaints about police promotion and indiscipline cannot be addressed as there is no commission.
The T&T Guardian understands Carmona is not expected to back down on his nominees. The names will be put before the Parliament and a vote will be taken.
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