Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 8th 2014 Contents A3
June 8, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
A bar room brawl has claimed the life
of one man.
An early morning fight at the Universal
Bar on the Western Main Road, St James,
left Damian Alexander, 35, dead. According
to reports, Alexander was at the bar when,
at around 4 am, he got into a disagreement
with another patron.
A scuffle broke out and Alexander, who
also lives in St James, was dealt a stab wound
to the neck from the shard of a broken glass
Alexander was taken to the St James
Health Facility but died while receiving treat-
Police have since arrested one man in
relation to his death.
This is the second such incident at the
Universal Bar. Last December, Kareem Strak-
er was also fatally stabbed following an argu-
ment with a patron at the establishment.
Police are also investigating the brazen,
daylight shooting of 32-year-old Terrence
According to police reports, just after 10
am yesterday, Dindial, who lives in Diego
Martin, was proceeding north along De Fre-
itas Boulevard when two men pulled along-
side his vehicle and opened fire.
Dindial was shot in the face and right
He was taken to the Arima Health Facility
for treatment and is currently listed in a
Tourism PS Juliana Johan-Boodram said
she "forgot" to inform Public Service/PS
to the Prime Minister Reynold Cooper that
she was leaving the country for a four-day
jaunt to Argentina to watch the T&T vs
Argentina football game.
Johan-Boodram left on a chartered flight
on Sunday and returned to the country on
She said the trip was not paid for by the
Government or the Ministry of Tourism and
as such was "not a big deal."
"I left under the delegated authority of
the minister, that does not need to go to
Cabinet for approval," Johan-Boodram said,
in a telephone interview yesterday.
She said out of "courtesy" she would cus-
tomarily inform both Cooper and the Public
Service Commission that she was leaving.
"I don t remember the exact regulations,
but once the ministry is not paying and
another entity is paying I do not have to go
to him," she said.
As accounting officer at the ministry,
Johan-Boodram is not allowed to receive
gifts in excess of $5,000, but she said this
trip, paid for by the T&T Football Federation
and the Ministry of Sport, does not fall into
Johan-Boodram said she was in Argentina
for the four days as part of the "marketing
and promotion" of T&T.
"It was a great marketing and branding
opportunity for the country and we seized
the opportunity," she said.
Johan-Boodram said marketing and brand-
ing of the country falls under the remit of
the PS of Tourism.
marketing and promotion," she said.
Two permanent secretaries have gone
Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL).
The Sunday Guardian has learned that
Sport PS Ashwin Creed and Tourism PS
Juliana Johan-Boodram have both left their
ministries without following proper com-
munication protocol and, as such, no one
has been put in place to act on their behalf.
The lack of communication means that
there are no accounting officers on the
job, leaving the ministries rudderless. It
also means that no payments can be
authorised or approved.
The Sunday Guardian was informed that
both Creed and Johan-Boodram could face
disciplinary action from the Public Service
Commission (PSC) for leaving the country
without proper authorisation.
Creed has been absent from his job for
almost a month. He was expected back
on the job on May 26, as his authorised
leave ended on May 23.
Johan-Boodram, meanwhile, left the
country to go to Argentina to watch the
football match between T&T and Argenti-
na.Up until the time the photographs of
her surfaced on June 5, head of the Public
Service/PS to the Prime Minister Reynold
Cooper was unaware she was away from
Cooper was also in the dark as to
whether Creed was back on the job or not.
The Sunday Guardian checked with staff
at the Ministry of Sport and was informed
that Creed had not been back at his office
for some time, and they were unsure when
he would be returning.
"He is on vacation until next week, we
think," said the person who answered the
office line on Friday.
An automated voice recording at Creed s
office at the ministry stated his mailbox
No one was assigned by me---Howai
Finance Minister Larry Howai, in an e-
mail exchange, said no one was appointed
to act as accounting officer at either of
"We have not made those appointments
to which you refer as we have not yet
received the approval of the PSC," he said.
"That means that the relevant ministry
didn t make a request of the PS to the PM
(Cooper)," he said.
Howai explained that the process is that
the Permanent Secretary to the Prime
Minister (Cooper) assigns the officer and
then the Minister of Finance and the Econ-
omy (MoFE) makes the appointment on
the basis of that assignment.
"The MoFE cannot appoint someone
without that input from the PS to the PM.
The appointment, however, only takes
place after receiving the authorisation of
the Public Service Commission (PSC) who
acts on the recommendations of the Direc-
tor of Public Administration (DPA)," he
Two PSs take off
...No authorisation from PSC, Cooper
I forgot to
Man dies after
No PS must go on leave
Cooper, in a telephone interview Friday,
said as far as he was aware, Johan-
Boodram was supposed to be in the
country as no application for leave,
vacation or time away came before him
or Cabinet. He said he was aware that
her line minister, Gerald Hadeed, had
sought and gained Cabinet approval to
attend the game in Argentina, but said
Johan-Boodram did not have that
Hadeed, however, did not go to
When pictures of Johan-Boodram at
Wednesday's football game between
T&T and Argentina showed her happily
celebrating from the stands, this left
"No PS must go on vacation without
authorisation, because it is only with
authorisation that we can appoint
someone to act in their absence," Cooper
According to the Constitution Section
85.1, a PS must seek leave from the
minister and once there is no objection,
that request is forwarded to Cooper for
information purposes and so that he can
then direct the PSC to appoint someone
as acting PS for the duration of the
That did not happen in either case.
Head of the Public Service
Commission Dr Marjorie Thorpe was
also unaware that both PSs were
The PSC relies on direction from
either Cooper or the Minister of
Finance Larry Howai, who can appoint
a financial officer to act in the PS'
In a short telephone interview on
Friday, Thorpe said the PSC had no
requests before them.
"I cannot remember those coming
before us," she said.
Thorpe then called back, having
conferred with her other
"No, nothing has come before us,"
While Johan-Boodram's absence was
explained by the Argentinian football
friendly, there has been no reason
forthcoming for Creed's prolonged
It was initially reported that Cooper
said Creed sought emergency leave from
April 14 to 22, was in China from April 28
to 30 on official business, and then took
ordinary vacation leave from May 15 to
23.Creed has been out of the country for
the past 16 days---without applying for
further leave---even though he is
currently embroiled in an audit by the
Finance Ministry's Central Audit Unit into
the multimillion-dollar spending of the
Life Sport programme. He reportedly
received death threats in connection with
Reynold Cooper, head of Public Service/
PS to the Prime Minister
Members of the T&T
victory in the march
during the Ministry
of National Security
Sports and Family
Day at King George
V Park, Port-of-
PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
PSC IN THE DARK
DEFENCE FORCE WINS
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