Gov’t moving to resuscitate public service appellate tribunal

Government is looking to resuscitate the Public Service Appellate Tribunal, which has been defunct over for two decades.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon made the announcement yesterday during a post-Cabinet press briefing.

Former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran, in an entry in his Accountability Watch column in Stabroek News in September, 2012, had stated that the tribunal has not been in place since August, 1995.

According to Harmon, the tribunal has been “languishing for many years under the previous administration and we are looking to have that body activated.”

He stated that the resuscitation of the office would provide public servants the opportunity to have their matters heard in a timely manner as opposed to the lengthy period they face when going through the courts.  The absence of the commission has led government to consider the matter as one of importance, thereby placing it on the front burner, the minister said.

“In the absence of that Public Service Appellate Tribunal, persons who want to challenge their dismissals and so on have to engage in the expensive process of going through the High Court and in many cases the system does not produce the results they are looking for in a timely manner,” Harmon explained.

Article 215A of the constitution states that a Public Service Appellate Tribunal is to be established to hear appeals on any matter in which a public servant feels there has been unfair treatment on a decision taken by their employer.

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