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Friday 17 August 2018
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SSC begins CoP inquiry after Carnival

The Special Select Committee (SSC) appointed to examine the process, information and documents used by the Police Service Commission (PSC) and recruiting firm KPMG, to select individuals for the posts of Commissioner of Police (CoP) and Deputy CoP is expected to begin its work after Carnival.

Newsday was told the six SSC members will have a preparatory meeting with Clerk of the House Jacqui Sampson Meiguel at Tower D of the Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre this Wednesday at 10.30 am.

Sources said the purpose of the meeting will be to brief committee members on the rules and procedures which the SSC will follow as it undertakes its work. SSC members include Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Fitzgerald Hinds, Housing Minister Randall Mitchell, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, La Brea MP Nicole Olivierre, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal and Chaguanas West MP Ganga Singh.

The SSC has been mandated to report back to the House by March 31.

It was appointed at last Friday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar shared the same concerns about the process whereby the PSC selected Acting Deputy CoP Deodath Dulalchan for both the posts of CoP and Deputy CoP and Acting Deputy CoP Harold Phillip for the post of Deputy CoP.

Debate on a motion to approve the nomination of Dulalchan as CoP was suspended as a result of Rowley and Persad-Bissessar’s shared concerns.

Separate motions to debate the respective nominations of Dulalchan and Phillip as Deputy CoP were not debated last Friday.

A SSC only comprise the members of the house of parliament it exists in.

In the House, SSCs are empowered under Standing Orders (SO) 111 and 112.

Under SO 111, a SSC can send for people, papers and records; sit notwithstanding the adjournment of the House and appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available.

SO 112, sets out the times from Monday to Friday, when a select committee meets. Under SO 112 (3), a select committee can meet on weekend, subject to the approval of the Speaker of the House.

Last Friday, in expressing his frustration that a permanent CoP could not be appointed, Rowley said the Parliament was being asked to approve a CoP, “at a time where the streets of TT are killing fields and the Police Service is in dire need of revolutionary leadership.”

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