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‘New method for choosing CoP’

Moonilal: System too complicated

By Ria Taitt Political Editor

The recruitment procedure for the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner is unduly complicated, protracted and expensive, Leader of Government Business, Dr Roodal Moonilal, said yesterday. 

Cabinet is therefore considering recommendations from the Police Service Commission (PSC) for a new mechanism of selecting and appointing the two top posts in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, he said.  

“The recommendation is that the PSC should have greater control over the selection process and that it should have the resources in its secretariat to diligently and competently complete the exercise in a shorter time and with less costs,” Moonilal added.

The Minister was piloting a motion in the House of Representatives asking the House to confirm the nomination of Ramesh Deosaran as a member of the PSC. He said these matters were currently before the Finance and General Purposes Committee, as well as with the Ministry of the Attorney General.  

Stating that the PSC was being hindered in the execution of its constitutional duties, Moonilal said Government was in the process of reviewing several recommendations contained in a report provided by the PSC’s Multisectoral Review Team (chaired by Deosaran).  

“The Commission continues to be handicapped in some way in executing its constitutional sanctions. The Commission has no control over its administrative, infrastructural and financial affairs, leaving the Commission to face at times chaotic and embarrassing circumstances. The recruitment process for the police commissioner and deputy police commissioner is unduly convoluted, expensive and protracted. The Appeals Unit of the commission is unable to carry out its constitutional sanctions given some administrative problems,” Moonilal said. 

He said all administrative and legislative recommendations would be looked at in great detail.

 “As to recommendations relating to the incorporation of the PSC, to the amendment of Section 122 of the Constitution and to bring greater administrative changes to the composition, qualification and structure of the Commission, a lot of consideration is being focused on these matters. The recommendations  also involve the strengthening of the appellate capacity of the Police Service and they involve constitutional amendments regarding the jurisdiction of the PSC with respect to appointments, recruitment, promotion, transfer and discipline.”

Moonilal said Deosaran had brought  stability and enlightened leadership to the PSC.

 “The Commission has shown a new vigour,” following its stagnation arising out of the removal of the previous chairman (Nizam Mohammed), he said.

 “At this time our country needs a vigilant, dynamic and progressive PSC,” said Moonilal.

 He said that Deosaran had shown dynamism and that the Commission under his leadership had developed a new interview schedule to enhance its appraisal process.

 The Minister said under Deosaran, the Commission got new and better accommodation. It also devised new and revised appraisal mechanisms for assessing the efficiency, effectiveness and performance of the CoP and deputy CoP.

 Furthermore, the PSC conducted polls on the performance of the leadership of the Police Service and the Police Service as a whole, the Minister stated.

 Moonilal said Deosaran also completed training of more than 1,000 officers and prepared a training manual.

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