There are currently more than 13,000 vacancies in the Public Service that need to be filled.
Minister of Public Administration Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan made the disclosure in Parliament in Port of Spain, while responding to a question by Member of Parliament for La Brea Fitzgerald Jeffrey Friday evening.
Seepersad-Bachan said: “In response to the question with respect to the number of vacancies that exist in the Public Service-as at December 31, 2013, I am advised that there were 13,709 vacancies on the permanent establishment and contract positions were 5,863.”
“The number of permanent employees in the Public Service as of December 31, 2013 was 16,843. With respect to the number of contract employees in the Public Service, as at December 31, 2013- 331 employees,” she added.
Asked by Jeffrey what attempts were being made to fill the vacancies, Seepersad-Bachan said the 13,709 vacancies which are on the permanent establishment side were the responsibility of the Service Commission.
“The Service Commission has taken steps to expedite the recruitment process and this is totally in the hands of the Service Commission. I want to remind members of this House that the Service Commission is an independent body as set out in our Constitution,” she said.
Minister of National Security Gary Griffith who responded to questions raised by Member of Parliament for St Joseph Terrence Deyalsingh on the construction cost of the St Joseph Police Station, said the project is scheduled to begin by the end of August and will be done at the lowest cost offered by bidders who tendered for the project.
The project, which was publicly tendered for by six companies in September 2013, was won by Moosai Development Construction Caribbean Ltd, Griffith said.
“The design build contract for the St Joseph Police Station was awarded on May 1, 2014, and the design phase is estimated for three months with construction carded to commence August 31.
As it relates to the value of the successful bid, $31,417,535.80, it was the lowest bid of all of the other six proponents. We had $124,134,000, we had $51,641,869, $60,608,696, $50,750,078 and $59,750,400.”
Griffith said, this year Government was making the logistics and administrative support for all arms of the law enforcement agencies a priority.
“This is not so much about building police stations because a police station at every corner is not the answer. What we are actually doing is upgrading and replacing defective police stations which needed repairs over the past decades,” he explained.
Griffith added that the more police stations there were, the more manpower was needed for the stations but this was not the approach they were taking. Instead they were putting more police officers out on patrol which is the proactive approach and not the old reactive one.