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Wednesday 19 June 2019
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CoP candidates ‘friendly’ with PSC members


IT was revealed that not one but two candidates up for the post of Commissioner of Police (CoP) and deputy CoP had friendly relationships with certain members of the former Police Service Commission (PSC).

It was because of this information that one candidate was almost debarred from the recruitment and selection process but the PSC, under the advice of a senior counsel, approved the candidate for the shortlist.

There were still many questions as to the process of appointing a CoP when the Special Select Committee established to consider and report on appointing a CoP sat yesterday at the ANR Robinson Meeting Room, Parliament, Port of Spain.

PSC member Commodore Anthony Franklin also admitted that one of the candidates served with him.

When committee chairman Fitzgerald Hinds asked former PSC chairman Maria Therese-Gomes whether she considered this a risk, she deferred the question to Franklin, but Hinds insisted that she answer. This caused committee member MP Ganga Singh to accuse Hinds of badgering the member.

Again Hinds questioned how one person could be considered for two posts when they applied for one position, adding that one candidate said he was never asked if he would give consideration to another post.

“The question was asked of every candidate, I am very confident in saying that,” Gomes said.

On the PSC’s role in the process, PSC member Martin George said according to a senior counsel they had the right and the responsibility to ensure that they did not just accept results from the firm, but that they were “able to own it”.

Consulting firm KPMG had been contracted for $3.1 million to advise the PSC on the processes involved in the appointments.

KPMG managing partner Dushyant Sookram said the firm was in charge of the screening leadership competency model among other aspects that were affiliated with the posts. The PSC was supposed to be part of the process, but not part of the recruitment, and its responsibility was to give way to the process.

Hinds questioned why security vetting was left as “a last thought” and Gomes said KPMG was supposed to be in charge of this aspect but it was only when the Police Complaints Authority raised the subject of an investigation of a candidate that the issue arose.

Hinds suggested that KPMG was not thorough in its processes and may have “told the truth, but not the whole truth”.

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