Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 25th 2015 Contents A13
Saturday, April 25, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
There are 32,000 posts in the
Public Service with 7,808 vacan-
cies yet to be filled that can be
But about 3,000 vacancies can-
not be filled due to various rea-
These issues were raised during
yesterday s Joint Select Committee
meeting held in Parliament, chaired
by Independent Senator Anthony
Appearing before the committee
were members of the Public Serv-
ice Commission. Discussions dur-
ing the hearing also focused on
the recruitment of people into the
public service, performance assess-
ments, disciplinary matters and
the disciplinary procedures applied
by the commission, and the
achievements and challenges of
The commission also heard that
many people were acting in posi-
tions for various reasons, including
substantive office holders being
either on vacation or sick leave.
Further, the commission was
told that there existed "suppressed
An example of such could be
found at the Ministry of Labour,
said Marcia Pile O Brady, acting
deputy director of Personnel
Pile O Brady said, there were,
for instance, nine vacancies for
labour relations officers.
"Those vacancies have been
suppressed by the ministry because
they re reviewing their structure
and they don t know if they ll need
this many officers," she added.
Another example given con-
cerned the Prisons Service, where
there is a need for 700 Prisons
Officer I staff but these could not
be filled immediately as the com-
mission had been asked to "hold
"They re going to build some
more prisons and they can only
train in batches of 200," Pile
O Brady said.
Tobago was also at the fore of
discussions because of major prob-
lems in filling vacancies there.
Professor Kenneth Ramchand,
one of the commission members
said, "Tobago is a major problem
and if you ask people are you will-
ing to go and work in Tobago they
would say six months or a year.
"That is a forever problem. We
do not have Trinidadians who are
willing to transfer to Tobago on a
pseudo permanent basis. If that is
so then our regulations ought to
be modified to reflect that and if
we say a person has to be eligible
for a post and we have people who
are eligible, then we may have to
change our procedures to allow us
to appoint eligible people in Tobago
without being worried that people
in Trinidad are going to get up and
say, We have been bypassed...we
have been overlooked, " Ramchand
He recommended that some
kind of special recommendation
be made. Ramchand also gave the
assurance that those eligible
would indeed be considered.
"In those cases our consider-
ation will have to include that
there are people in Trinidad who
are senior but they don t want to
go and after due consideration
these eligible people in Tobago
they are qualified to do the job
and because they live in Tobago
they may even be a better fit for
the job," Ramchand added.
The issue of proper and effi-
cient record keeping was also
Port-of-Spain South MP Mar-
lene McDonald gave an account
of an immigration officer who
retired and died without receiving
McDonald described it as very
sad and unfortunate, and she
urged the commission to get its
act together so that a similar sit-
uation did not recur.
But acting Director of Person-
nel Administration, Anastasius
Veronica Creed, said she was
aware of that particular matter
which lay in the hands of the
national security ministry.
She said she was unsure about
the problems affecting the records
of the deceased person.
Creed added that efforts were
being made to upgrade computer
software so as to ensure there
was proper record keeping.
in public service
Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Dr Marjorie Thorpe, answers questions during the Joint Select
Committee on Municipal Corporations and Service Commissions at the J Hamilton Maurice Room, Mezzanine
Floor, Office of the Parliament, Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
ANSA McAL Group finance director
Aneal Maharaj took on a different role
yesterday as he returned to his alma
mater, Presentation College, Chaguanas,
to address graduating students.
Maharaj, a chartered accountant, gave
a deeply philosophical speech to Form
Five and Upper Six graduating students.
"Whatever the world throws at you,
the death of a loved one, a failed exam,
a relationship that did not work out, what-
ever it is, it will never be greater than you
Maharaj rejected two scholarships to
enter the world of work.
He worked at prestigious firms including
Deloitte and Touche, BHP Billington and
BP Amoco, and in various parts of the
world. He is married and a father of two.
"It wasn t always like that," he said.
Maharaj told the students how, despite
his education, he started off in the world
of work shredding paper and answering
Maharaj said it took a toll on him and
he resigned from three jobs.
There were five lessons he learnt at
Presentation College that gave him the
strength and motivation to move forward,
Recalling them, he said on his first day
at school he was thrown out of class
because he was talking to a boy who was
showing him a picture in a book of two
The lesson he learnt from that was the
need to watch his company.
The other was the school rules which
said you had to wear a black belt, black
shoes and black socks.
"Black socks made no sense at the time,"
Later in life it dawned on him that the
black socks rule represented simple dis-
A third lesson he learnt was from a
teacher, Mr Patel, who came to class one
day, kicked off his sandals, put up his feet
and began to teach.
Soon after, it began to rain and flood
the area where Mr Patel was sitting but
he kept on teaching.
"No matter what life throws at you,
focus. The water will go down."
From his Mathematics teacher, who
taught the subject with a passion, Maharaj
said he learnt you must enjoy what you
do.He said we all go through periods of
anguish in our lives and he spoke about
praying for answers.
He said after he left school, he failed
some examinations. He told the graduates,
"If you do not do well in your exams, all
is not lost.
"No exam in the world is greater than
Maharaj asked the graduates if they
wanted to be doctors, lawyers, engineers.
Several hands went up.
He said, however, there was a greater
"Focus on the now, live well and the
future will unfold," he told the graduating
The state s main witness in the
trial of 12 men accused of mur-
dering businesswoman Vindra
Naipaul-Coolman yesterday com-
plained of having no money to
travel to court next week to com-
plete his testimony.
In making the complaint to pre-
siding Judge Malcolm Holdip yes-
terday, Keon Gloster claimed that
being forced to come to court for
all hearings of the case over the
past month was having a dire
impact on his finances.
"I ain t have any money to come
back here next week. Can you help
me out?" an unemployed Gloster
told Holdip shortly after the case
was adjourned to Monday.
Holdip acknowledged Gloster s
complaint but said he could do lit-
tle to help.
"I don t have any money right
now to give you," Holdip said,
before he promised to consult the
High Court Registrar about facil-
itating Gloster s request.
Gloster s testimony, which began
early last month, has been blighted
by multiple delays, including its
postponement this entire week to
allow a British forensic expert to
start and complete his evidence.
He was due to take the witness
stand for a final time yesterday.
However, legal arguments by
defence lawyers and prosecutors
occupied most of the hearing, forc-
ing an early adjournment.
Since the start of his testimony,
Gloster has repeatedly claimed he
was coerced by police into signing
several sworn statements in which
he implicated the accused men,
most of whom are his relatives.
Prosecutors need his contradic-
tory claims in relation to each
statement in order to deem him a
hostile witness and have his state-
ments tendered into evidence and
read to the 12-member jury.
Naipaul-Coolman was abducted
from her Radix Road, Lange Park,
Chaguanas, home on December
19, 2007. A $122,000 ransom was
paid by her family but she was
never released and her body has
never been found.
Prosecutors have presented
mainly circumstantial evidence
gathered at a single-storey red
brick house in Upper La Puerta,
Diego Martin, where Naipaul-
Coolman was allegedly held cap-
They are relying on Gloster s
statements as he was allegedly
present when the former Xtra
Foods chief executive was killed
and her body disposed of.
Links Archive April 24th 2015 April 26th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page