Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 20th 2017 Contents A4 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, April 20, 2017
Time to stop
It's time to stop the talk shops. There
are reports from the University of the
West Indies and other research insti-
tutions highly funded by limited gov-
ernment resources gathering dust on
So saidJacinta Sobers,Permanent Secre-
tary in the Ministry of Social Development
and Family Services, at the launch of the
ministry's third forum on development of
a national social policy at City Hall, Port-
The forum focused on the need for train-
ing to facilitate the nexus between research
and policy development.
Sobers addressed a small group of
representatives from the social sec-
tors of different ministries who
were assembled to formulate an
evidence-based national social
policy to protect and assist
T&T's most vulnerable. She
said getting policy right was
critical for vulnerable groups
who have lost jobs and have
no hope of getting any.
Sobers said forums like
those helped to bridge the
gap between ministries who are
operating separately while perform-
ing similar duties and result in better
disbursement of limited government
Speaking in the absence of Social
Development Minister Cherrie-Ann
Crichlow-Cockburn, she asked: "At this
third forum, where are we? Have we made
any progress? It's about time to stop the
talk shops. We have to get something
Sobers said the first forum identified
challenges in policy formulation,including
research that was not easy to reference.
The second forum charted the way for
creating a culture of policy development
in the social sector, she said.
She said the ministry was hoping after
this third forum to have groups of practi-
tioners from the social sector who are really
meeting and working on resolving issues.
Dr Patrice Parris-Searles, Research,
Planning and Development Manager at
the National Training Agency, said some-
times the language of reports from UWI
and other research institutions, based on
scientific methodology, made it difficult
for social sector officers to take away from
them what they need.
She identified this as one of the barriers
between hard evidence and policy making
in the ministry. Too much stakeholder in-
volvement, pointing to every which way,
was another barrier.
Parris-Searles said while scientific
research was always touted as the best
source of evidence, this was not always
so in relation to social issues.
"Life is complex, social issues are com-
plex," she said, adding that the real world
usually evolved faster than research and
often there was no consensus on the un-
derlying causes of social problems and the
best way to address them.
Parris-Searles made a call to "widen the
definition of evidence" to mean getting
the best pieces of information available to
impact the policy making process.
PS at national
social policy forum:
CDA director quits
Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) director
Mathew Joseph has tendered his resignation.
Joseph submitted his resignation at the end of February to CDA's
chairman, Narine Gupte Lutchmedial, the Board and Minister of Plan-
ning and Development Camille Robinson-Regis, under whose remit
CDA falls, citing personal reasons. However, the T&T Guardian was
told he was not happy with some of decisions the board had made.
Yesterday, Lutchmedial confirmed that Joseph who was appointed
a director in December of 2015 had parted ways.
Joseph is the third person to quit CDA in the past eight months.
Last August, then CDA chairman Anthony Pierre severed ties from
the State-owned company after the board of directors said he acted
without its approval when he issued letters of comfort to two tenants
whose leases the CDA directors had deemed illegal.
The two tenants are Fouraime Enterprises Ltd and Starburst Parks
Ltd which are awaiting advice from CDA's Senior Counsel Martin
Daly on how to proceed.
Two months after Pierre left, CDA's general manager Michael
Anatol who was on a six months probationary period called it quits.
Anatol took over from Joycelyn Hargreaves who was fired last May,
following an internal audit into the State- run organisation.
Questioned that Joseph was not satisfied with the Board's decisions
and operations, Lutchmedial said he was unaware of that.
"Mathew resigned because he had some personal things to handle.
We took it (resignation letter) to the board and we spoke to him (Jo-
seph) and the board accepted his resignation. If someone has resigned,
what can I tell them?"
Lutchmedial said finding a replacement for Joseph was now in the
hands of President Anthony Carmona.
With eight members left on the board, Lutchmedial said all was
needed was four directors to have a quorum.
"His resignation has not affected the board's functions. We are
still operating as usual."
Told that the three resignations in the last few months had give the
impression that all was not right in CDA, Lutchmedial said "People
are asked to serve in a voluntary capacity and if they ask to be relieved
of that capacity... then there is nothing I could do about it."
Soldier on arms,
gets $300,000 bail
A solider accused of attempting to export a quantity of co-
caine hidden in scented candles was yesterday granted bail
on charges of ammunition possession and possession of un-
Collin Clarke, 26, of Cunupia, who was granted $300,000 bail after
appearing in court on Tuesday charged under the Customs Act with
attempting to export a prohibited substance, made a second court
appearance in the Chaguanas Magistrate's Court yesterday to answer
separate charges over illegal items allegedly found athis home last week.
He was charged with possession of 50 rounds of ammunition and
harbouring a package containing uncustomed goods (items for which
no duties were paid) under Section 213 (c) of the Customs Act.
Senior Magistrate Joanne Connor granted Clarke $100,000 bail
to cover the charges.
Clarke and his girlfriend Charlene Giles, 24, of Savannah Terrace,
Diego Martin, were arrested during a sting operation set up by
members of the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms
Bureau (OCNFB) and the Customs and Excise Division at
international courier DHL's office in El Socorro, San Juan,
They are alleged to have had in their possession a box con-
taining 24 packages of scented candles which were found
to contain cocaine. The package, inclusive of the drugs and
candles, weighed a total of 1.8 kilogrammes.
Clarke was charged under Section 154 of the Customs Act
with attempting to export a prohibited item, while Giles was
charged with cocaine trafficking. They were not called upon
to plead to the charges as they were laid indictably.
Clarke, who had been enlisted in the T&T Regiment for the
past five years, was hit with two additional charges over illegal items
found at his home during a routine search after his arrest.
The couple will be tried for the drugs charges in the Port-of-Spain
Magistrates' Court while Clarke will face the other charges in Chagua-
nas. Clarke is being represented by Collin Partap and Irshard Ali.
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