The Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) broke its silence yesterday on an alleged sexual harassment matter involving a former government minister, saying that there appeared to have been serious lapses, missteps and misjudgements which led to the present controversy.
Although the institute did not name the former minister, the matter involving former Minister of Sport Darryl Smith has been engaging national attention.
In a statement, the TTTI said it has observed with concern, the unfolding series of events surrounding claims of sexual harassment and wrongful termination involving a former minister of sport and his personal assistant.
It said to address the apparent governance deficit being displayed with this matter and to ensure lessons are learnt, it is asking several questions including who was responsible for addressing the issue at the ministry of sport when the sexual harassment issue was first raised, the process of termination and why as a non-disclosure arrangement used and lastly what action is being taken in the ministry of sport and other ministries to prevent a recurrence of this situation?
The institute added that good governance must be characterised by full disclosure to the public on matters involving public institutions, public funds and ethics in governance.
It also stressed that the nation’s youth “observe and mimic our leaders; hence, our leaders must always strive to lead with integrity”. That it said produces excellence in leadership and, as famously stated: “The greatest example of leadership is leadership by example.”
The statement added that the TTTI seeks to ensure good governance, accountability, integrity and transparency in all matters of public interest as these principles represent the main pillars of a democracy and must be supported and protected at all cost.