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—two businessmen, a pastor and a lawyer to make up new PSC
For the first time in recent history the Police Service Commission is without a former police officer among its ranks as the Committee of Appointments in the National Assembly nominated two businessmen, one pastor and a lawyer to make up that constitutional body.
The chairman will be selected from among the four by the President. A fifth person on the commission will be the chairman of the Public Service Commission. The nominees of the Police Service Commission include: Mr. Ernesto Choo-a-Fat, Businessman; Attorney-at-law, Lloyd Mark Conway; businessman, Hakeem Mohamed and pastor, Patrick Anthony Findlay. Findlay was a PPP candidate for the last elections. He previously served as Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Labour.
The last commission was chaired by Assistant Commissioner, Paul Slowe and included other retired Assistant Commissioners: Vesta Adams, Clinton Conway and Claire Jarvis. A former member of the commission told this newspaper that to have people without knowledge of the workings of the force to sitting on the body will provide opportunities for senior police officers to run rings around them.
The Police Service Commission is a Constitutional Body, established under Article 137 (1) and was given the authority under Article 212(1) subject to the provisions of Article 211 (1) of the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana to make appointments to any offices in the Police Force of or above the rank of Inspector, and exercise disciplinary control over and to remove persons holding or acting in such offices. The procedures adopted by the Commission in its’ considerations are set out in Chapter 16:01 The Police Act. and Chapter 17:01 The Police Discipline Act. Given its mandate, the Commission seeks to ensure no claims of partiality can justifiably be brought against it.
According to a notice by Parliament a report from the committee which is chaired by Governance Minister, Gail Teixeira at its 10th meeting held on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, after exhausting the notification process, the Committee agreed to proceed with the appointment of Members to the Commission.
Among the bodies consulted by the committee were the Guyana Police Association, the Association of Former Members of the Guyana Police Force and the National Community Policing Executive. These groups, the committee said appear to represent the majority of Members of the Guyana Police Force.
However, noteworthy is the fact that the Guyana Police Association did not submit for consideration a single ex-member of the force. Their nominees include: Choo-a-Fat, Conway, Mohamed and Findlay all of whom were selected to be on the commission.
The National Community Policing Executive submitted the name of Mr. Reshi Das, while the Association of Former Members of the Guyana Police Force submitted the name of Mr. Gavin Primo, a Former Assistant Commissioner of Police. Following the adoption of the report by the National Assembly, the names will be sent to President Irfaan Ali to appoint the commission.
The full members of the appointments committee are: Gail Teixeira, Dr. Vindhya V. H. Persaud; Kwame McCoy; Alister Charlie; Yvonne Pearson-Fredericks; Khemraj Ramjattan; Nicolette Henry; Tabitha Sarabo-Halley and Annette Ferguson.