Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 22nd 2016 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, January 22, 2016
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Remember to keep your "today's paper" and tune
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President Anthony Carmona, left, greets tourists when he made a surprise
appearance during their visit yesterday to the Botanical Gardens, St Ann's.
PHOTO COURTESY OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
The Government has "target-
ed" people for the post of Com-
missioner of Police (CoP) and
Deputy CoP and names being
heard in connection with this
include DCP Harold Phillip, Snr
Supt McDonald Phillip and ACP
Vincel Edwards, says Opposition
Senator Wade Mark.
"People are telling us these are
some of the elements they (gov-
ernment) have in mind to become
CoP and deputy CoP... tell us...
we have been hearing names about
who Government may be seeking
to promote, they must deny it,"
Mark said in the Senate yester-
This occurred during debate of
an Opposition motion to annul
Government's December 2015
Orders on the selection process
for a CoP and deputy CoP.
A similar motion was debated
by Government and Opposition
in the House of Representatives
on Wednesday. When debate con-
cluded at 12.30 am yesterday, the
motion failed due to Government's
majority votes against it.
In yesterday's Senate debate on
the issue, Mark told the Govern-
ment: "Go ahead, pass it (Orders).
At the end of the day, the court
will determine if you are right or
wrong... you may have the major-
ity here and defeat us but we will
go to the Supreme Court and the
Privy Council... there is the Privy
Council. We will support retention
of the Privy Council as we feel we
will get fairness there."
Saying the Opposition was not
against a local CoP or deputy CoP,
Mark said the Opposition had dif-
ficulty with the process since the
CoP had 6,000 arms-bearing peo-
ple under their command and "if
you put the wrong person in
charge, we would end up with an
Eric (Gairy) like in Grenada with
a Mongoose Gang, a Burnham in
Guyana or a Papa Doc and Baby
Doc in Haiti and a criminal in the
Philippines named Marcos."
Dismissing claims of consulta-
tion, Mark maintained there was
no discussions with the Police
Service Commission (PSC) or other
stakeholders, including the Police
Second Division Association and
Claiming the PSC was being
undermined, he challenged the
Government to say who was con-
sulted before making the Orders.
Mark said there was a "massive
difference" between the 2015
Orders and the 2009 Orders for
the selection process and six
aspects were left out.
While the Director of Personnel
Administration (DPA) had triggered
the process in the 2009 Order, the
2015 Orders mandated that the
PSC on request of the National
Security Minister had to seek to
contract "an appropriate local
firm" to do recruitment of can-
didates and invite applications for
Claiming the PNM had been
trying since 1994 to undermine
the Police Service, he queried if
the situation was an attempt to
"hijack" the service.
Mark questioned how the firm
would select candidates since,
unlike 2009, the Orders didn't
speak of advertising.
He said the Government also
deleted clauses allowing the PSC
to have input on the matter which
existed in the 2009 Order. Mark
also questioned why the 2009 cri-
teria, including leadership, man-
agement and communication
skills, integrity, commitment to
the Police Service's cause and
vision to guide the service, was
He said the Attorney General
hinted last year the Orders would
have been completed by the end
of last November. They were even-
tually published on December 16,
2015, suggesting they had been
completed by the end of Novem-
ber.Mark said the situation suggest-
ed a surreptitious approach by the
Government and denial of Parlia-
ment's right to examine the Orders
since lawmakers were subsequently
debating the Orders after they
became law when they were pub-
lished in December.
Money Mania jackpot now $9,000
Mark: Govt has CoP,
deputy all lined up
The Government has no "horse" in
the race concerning the appointment
of a Commissioner of Police and
deputy CoP, Attorney General Faris
Al-Rawi said yesterday.
Al-Rawi rebutted Opposition claims
on the issue during yesterday's Senate
debate of an Opposition motion seeking
to annul the Government's December
16, 2015 Orders for the selection process
for a CoP and deputy CoP.
During his contribution, the AG also
said the Government was supportive of
having T&T nationals appointed to the
positions. He added there was more
than enough talent in the Police Service
to fill the post of deputy CoP. He also
said there were T&T nationals all over
the world. "They don't have to live here,
they just have to be a national (of) here,"
Lamenting the "analysis paralysis"
which he said had overtaken the process
over time, including during the past
People's Partnership administration and
lack of forward momentum on the sit-
uation, Al-Rawi summarised the Gov-
ernment's Orders on the matter as: "It's
time to get the job done.
"The management of crime and secu-
rity starts with a permanent appoint-
ment for a Commissioner of Police...
and we have no horse in the race. We
have no one in the race.
"What we have is democracy, preser-
vation of autonomy for the Police Service
Commission (PSC) foremost in mind;
we have emboldened and empowered
them to do their job; we told them You
come up with your process' and all we
want is the opportunity to knock on the
door and say, can you start the process
and tell us whether you will or whether
you won't and we will consider what
we should do after that."
Al-Rawi said the Government had
acted within the law on the issue and
there could be no intrusion on the PSC's
role. He said the key issue was propor-
tionality in balancing the PSC's auton-
omy and allowing it to do the entire
Noting "runaway" murders tolls, low
detection rates and overall crime in the
last six years, he said since 2006 the
public had heard about problems with
the PSC and the way the it appointed
a CoP and deputy including complaints
in its reports that the process was expen-
sive and convoluted.
The AG said the Opposition had been
against the Government's 2009 Order
for the selection process but was now
praising those Orders. --- GA
AG: Govt has no horse in race
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