International auditing firm to help pick next T&T Top Cop

Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams

(Trinidad Guardian) Auditing firm KPMG’s has been awarded the contract to assist the Police Service Commission (PSC) in the recruitment and selection of a new Police Commissioner and Deputies.

In a press release issued yesterday, the PSC said took the decision on July 20 as the body met to discuss the implementation of the project.

“The recruitment phase of the project is expected to take four (4) months to complete with the firm providing support to the Commission in designing and managing the advertising, application and assessment processes so as to ensure that the T&T Police Service has the leadership it requires to meet the needs of the organisation and to satisfy the requirements of safety and security for all of T&T now and into the future,” the release said.

The appointment comes two months after acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams was given a 10th six-month extension on his post, which he acquired after the resignation of Canadian Dwayne Gibbs in 2013.

Gibbs and his deputy Jack Ewastski, a fellow Canadian, were the last to be appointed to post following a recruitment drive outsourced by the PSC.

The duo was appointed in 2012 after being selected by a team of consultants from the Penn State University’s Justice and Safety Institute, which was hired by the Government in 2008 to assist the PSC.

In 2015, the Government introduced the Police (Selection Process) Order of 2015 in an effort to assist the PSC in hiring another firm to address the issue of the long-standing vacancies.

The order contained a provision requiring the Minister of National Security to initiate the recruitment procedure and another compelling the PSC to utilise State-owned procurement company, Nipdec, to select a local recruitment agency which would then be contracted to assist in the selection process.

However, the order was challenged by the Opposition, who claimed that it was unconstitutional as it infringed on the powers of the PSC, which has the exclusive remit of recruiting prospective candidates for the positions.

Delivering a judgment in the case in July, Justice Peter Rajkumar struck out several measures which he said constituted an “unjustifiable and unlawful fetter on and interference with the independence, jurisdiction and functions of the Police Service Commission (PSC).”

Referring to the involvement of a Government minister in the process, Rajkumar said the Constitution did not require such as the role could be filled by an independent PSC.

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