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...PNM members abstain from vote on PSC chairman

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

Members of the People’s National Movement (PNM) yesterday abstained from voting to approve President Anthony Carmona’s nomination to have Prof Ramesh Deosaran re-appointed as chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

Leader of Government Business Dr Roodal Moonilal brought the motion to the Parliament, asking the House to approve the notification of the President nominating  Deosaran to serve as a PSC member.

Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley and Opposition MP Colm Imbert criticised Government’s failure to work towards appointing a permanent Commissioner of Police (CoP).

When the vote was taken, 19 Government members voted in favour, while eight members of the Opposition abstained.

In his contribution, Imbert said that Deosaran as PSC chairman failed to appoint a permanent CoP during the three years he served as chairman.

However, he said that Deosaran’s hands were tied as it was the onus of the Government to get the ball rolling as the Public Administration Minister and Director of Personnel Administration have to initiate the process for the recruitment of a consulting firm, which would then advertise for applications for the post and then pass on a preliminary assessment to the PSC.

Imbert noted that on March 19, 2013, Deosaran submitted a 68-page report to the Government calling for the PSC to be given the power to handle, from beginning to end, the appointment of a CoP.

Imbert said more than a year has passed and Government has done nothing.

He said Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had given the country a commitment that her Government would move expeditiously to deal with the convoluted process which currently exists to appoint a CoP.

“This is not a URP contract we talking about...we are talking about getting the best person to manage and discipline police officers,” said Imbert.

He said further that while there are many hard-working police officers who go beyond the call of duty, there were many who do not give their best performance and actually use the policing job as a second mode of income.

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