Jul 06, 2022 Letters
I learned with utter dismay that the not fully constituted Police Service Commission led by pastor, Patrick Findlay unlawfully promoted two hundred and fifty three members of the Guyana Police Force ranging from inspectors to assistant commissioners. This is a flagrant violation of the letter, spirit and intent of some of the most sacrosanct constitutional procedures.
According to the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana the Police Service Commission shall consists of five members. Only four were sworn as members of the Commission. There was no meaningful consultation between the President and the Leader of the Opposition before the members were appointed and sworn by the President which is a clear violation of Article 210 of the Constitution. The fifth member must be the Chairman of the Public Service Commission. There is no Public Service Commission. The last Public Service Commission life ended over one year ago, so at this time there is no Chairman to be sworn in to fully constitute the Police Service Commission.
The Minister of Governance, Gail Teixeira recently wrote the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton inviting him to have consultation with the President in relation to the Police Service Commission and other Commissions on July 4, 2022. This is a belated effort to legalise the appointments of the members of the Commission. Only when the Police Service Commission is fully constituted can it be operational and then set a quorum to carry out its work.
Here is what Article 210 ( 1 ) of the Constitution states about the composition of the Public Service Commission, ” The Police Service Commission shall consist of – ( a ) a Chairman appointed by the President after meaningful consultation with the leader of the opposition from among members appointed under subparagraph ( c ); ( b) the Chairman of the Public Service Commission; ( c ) four members appointed by the President upon nomination by the National Assembly after it has consulted such bodies as appear to it to represent the majority of the members of the Police Force and any other such body it deems fit;
Providing that a person should be disqualified for appointment as a member of the Commission if he or she is a public officer. “
It is apposite to note that since there are only four members of the Commission it is not fully and properly constituted, so any action taken by the installed Chairman and other members must be deemed null and void. When you are illegal and you try your illegal best you are still illegal. Fraud is fraud. However, as alluded to above the Commission unlawfully announced the promotions.
On Friday, July 1, 2022 during a media interview with one of the public relations officers of the person who sits in the seat of the Commissioner of Police the installed Chairman of the Commission posited that he was awaiting the list of persons recommended for promotion from the Commissioner.
Lo and behold in ‘ labba time ‘ the Commission unlawfully announced the list of two hundred and fifty three promotions on Sunday, July 3, 2022. Certainly, there was not enough time for the commission to look at individual files to check for among other things: nominees with disciplinary and other matters pending investigation; persons recently convicted for breaches of disciplinary offences; those who passed the Appropriate Qualifying Examinations, seniority, education qualification, merit and ability, together with efficiency and experience; and to be guided by the principles of selection for promotion imbedded in the Public Service Commission Rules that are enshrined in Article 29 ( 1 – 3 ) of the Constitution.
A cursory look at the list of promotions revealed that several of the very senior officers promoted have disciplinary and other matters pending against them which the Chief Justice ruled is a bar to promotion; numerous supersessions without justification took place. Of the twenty one officers who were elevated to superintendents, fifteen were assistant superintendents and one was an inspector (unprecedented); one sergeant who did not even write the Appropriate Qualifying Examination was promoted to assistant superintendent; there were many other promoted ranks who did not pass or even write the Appropriate Qualifying Examination; Sergeant Dameion Mc Lennon who was promoted to the rank of Cadet officer and who was under investigation in relation to the murder of Quindon Bacchus will be facing the Court on a criminal charge of attempt to obstruct the course of justice. There are many more irregularities.
Apparently there was no proper vetting of the list sent to the Commission. The list is like the voters’ list – bloated inaccurate and misleading. It should have been properly sanitised by the police and the Commission. Some senior officers have boasted that the list sent to the Commission returned to the police in quick time with the desired approval. Perhaps, slow time would have been better. The Commission in collaboration with the police have invoked the spirit of Dr. Peter Principles and promoted a lot of incompetence. Hope that urgent legal action will be taken to correct this miscarriage of justice and sad state of affairs.
I pray that God will help the Guyana Police Force.
Assistant Commissioner of Police
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