Deputy chief elections officer Lena Sahadeo is challenging a decision by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to appoint Fern Narcis-Scope, a junior contract officer, as the Elections and Boundaries Commission’s new chief elections officer.
Sahadeo’s attorneys Kent Samlal and Abdel Mohammed have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information on Narcis-Scope’s appointment. Letters containing the FOIA requests were sent to both the chairman of the EBC and the Director of Personnel Administration (DPA).
Narcis-Scope’s appointment has been mired in controversy since October, when UNC Senator Wade Mark sought clarification during the Senate debate on the 2018 budget. Mark alleged that Narcis-Scope was the cousin of Public Administration Minister Maxie Cuffie. The EBC has since denied she is his first cousin.
EBC officials said Narcis-Scope was appointed sometime in September. PSC chairman Maureen Manchouk was reported as saying the position of chief elections officer was advertised and the person appointed was the one who topped the list. Sahadeo says she was not treated fairly by the DPA during her interview for the position in May. She has worked at the EBC for over 24 years and acted in the position of chief elections officer after the resignation of Ramesh Nanan last year.
Sahadeo wants to know the criteria for the appointment, a list of all people interviewed, Narcis-Scope’s curriculum vitae, interview notes, score sheets of all candidates interviewed and her own ranking after the process. Her request is being made under Section 13 of the FOIA.