Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 22nd 2016 Contents A11
Friday, January 22, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Minister in the Ministry of the
Attorney General Stuart Young
says the Government will not be
interfering in the selection
process for the Commissioner
Young said this in Parliament
on Wednesday while contributing
to a debate of a private motion
by Opposition members to annul
the order for changes to the selec-
tion process of the Commissioner
of Police and Deputy Commis-
sioner of Police.
Young, who responded to
assertions from the Opposition
that changes to the process could
allow the Government to interfere
with the appointment, said the
Executive played a limited role.
"The only role the Executive
plays is that the Minister of
National Security requests that
the Police Service Commission
commence the selection process,"
"What we are looking to do is
fix a problem that existed for the
past three-and-a-half years to
ensure there is a permanent
Commissioner of Police."
Young said Government had
moved quickly to simply bring
forward the process of the
He said there was nothing that
could be argued to be wrong with
the newly proposed process.
The new process allows the
Minister of National Security to
request that the Police Service
Commission contract a local firm
under the Central Tenders Board
Act to conduct the recruitment
process, which includes inviting
applications for the posts.
"There is a desire by the Gov-
ernment to rebuild the country
and move us to a first world sta-
tus. A lot of fuss was made to
the selection of the firm.
"We have in no way shackled
the Police Service Commission,"
"We have provided them with
a simpler process. That task is
completely mandated on the hand
of the Police Service Commission
working with a suitable local firm
to find a local commissioner."
See Page A12
Opposition MP Prakash
Ramadhar says the next Commis-
sioner of Police must be one that
the entire country has confidence
in and must not be a political
Ramadhar was speaking during
Wednesday s motion in Parliament.
The former minister questioned
whether the newly proposed
process held to the principles of
transparency and accountability.
He said in the past there had
been allegations of the police being
used as political tools and gave
examples of voter padding in the
early 2000s as well as a botched
raid on the home of former UNC
minister and MP Sadiq Baksh.
Ramadhar said the new process
that is attempting to be instituted
guts out the oversights that the
independent Police Service Com-
mission must have in the process
of selecting the Commissioner of
"If we should allow this to go
forward, it is to subvert the powers
of the commission. Why do you
want to do this?" Ramadhar asked.
He said the unnecessary efforts
to undermine the commission was
"The commission had a step-
by-step control and oversight of
everything the firm did. With this
new process, once the job is given
to this firm hands off they could
do what they want in silence and
certainly in darkness. That is a dan-
gerous thing," Ramadhar said.
selection process to choose a red
poppy you just put four red poppys
on the list. This new possibility
goes against the grain of trans-
He said this could not be allowed
to happen as the new Commis-
sioner of Police must have the moral
authority that he is above reproach
and was not put their at the behest
of political interference.
"The removal of certain oversight
responsibility from the Police Serv-
ice Commission is a dangerous
thing for the country," he said.
Ramadhar was supported by an
earlier contribution made by Oppo-
sition MP Bhoe Tewarie.
Tewarie said if there was a sit-
uation where there was doubt about
whether the process was fair and
open and transparent and you have
doubt on whether the process is
controlled by the political direc-
torate, or that the outcome has been
predetermined then citizens were
dealing with a situation that was
troubling for the democracy in this
"I am raising the issues of the
doubts, opportunity for control of
the outcome, politicisation and I
think it is something that is serious
in the country," Tewarie said.
He said he agreed the appoint-
ment of the commissioner was an
urgent matter and needed to be
dealt with expeditiously but it must
also be dealt with properly. (KC)
Fire and safety officers Christopher Sampson left, and David Thompson,
right, assist Deputy Chief Fire Officer Roosevelt Bruce with testing a new
oxygen tank during the Energy Conference and Trade Show 2016 held at
the Hyatt Regency, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain on Wednesday.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Minister on selection of police commissioner debate:
No Govt interference
No political stooge as CoP---Prakash
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