The responsibility for payment of salaries to Tobago House of Assembly (THA) workers rests with THA administrators.
So said Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, at the November 23 THA plenary, in responding to a question for oral answer posed by Farley Augustine, Minority member for Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside as to why some workers were being paid late despite after assurances given by the Chief Secretary at a March 15 media briefing that “with effect from April 2017, late pays will be a thing of the past.”
“There are nine divisions within the Tobago House of Assembly, with thousands of workers in the assembly and in the private sector. I will be obliged to respond to the question when there is a level of specificity,” Charles told Augustine.
Augustine reworded his question, “Would the Chief Secretary explain why THA workers have received salaries late subsequent to that March 15 press briefing?”
Charles replied that he had already responded to the question, adding there were several workers across several divisions in the Tobago House of Assembly.
At a post-Executive Council media briefing last Wednesday, when asked about the late payments, Charles told the media that when issues of late payment occur, the administrator should be contacted, as “no Secretary, including the Chief Secretary, could prepare paysheets or authorise payments.
“The time has come where accountability from within the system must be done within the system,” he said.