Warner looking to widen PSC's scope
National Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday confirmed that he will seek legislative intervention to widen the remit of the Police Service Commission to include the recruitment and dismissal of over 40 senior police posts, including that of the Commissioner of Police.
Warner yesterday met with PSC chairman Prof Ramesh Deosaran to discuss a report from the strategic sub-committee of the Multi-Sector Review team at the PSC's office on Queen Street, Port of Spain yesterday.
Warner referred to the report as a "brilliant document" but said a report alone will not solve the myriad of problems within the police service.
According to the sub-committee report, it recommended that the PSC should be responsible for "terminating the appointment of Assistant Commissioners of Police and Senior Superintendents". This will remove the contracts of both Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs and Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Ewatski from under the authority of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security.
"The sub-committee recommends that the PSC shall also have the power to evaluate the effectiveness of the discharge of the functions of the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioners of Police after exercising its monitoring function," the report stated.
In the Constitution section 123 (8) (c), the PSC may terminate the services of the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner of Police based on "reported inefficiency based on his performance appraisal reports" , if there is a breach of contract or it the Commissioner of Police was absent from duty without leave for seven consecutive days without notifying the PSC.
If this Constitutional amendment passes, the PSC will be able to hold both Gibbs and Ewatski accountable for their professional actions.
"At the end of the day we have to sit down and rethink if we have to go back to the Prime Minister to ask her to change the terms of reference so as to include the other areas which are affecting the police service and preventing them from performing," Warner said.
According to information contained in the report the PSC currently has jurisdiction over four positions, the Commissioner of Police and three deputy Commissioners, but the executive is seeking to increase the PSC's reach to include the 11 assistant Commissioners and 27 Senior Superintendents.
"The PSC will be required to monitor, evaluate and appraise all officers under its purview," the report stated.
"The sub-committee was also mandated to consider widening the remit of the PSC to include the Civilian Heads of the Police Service in order to increase the efficiency of the Service," the report added.
"The meeting was inclusive, but we will have to meet again," he said.