JOINT Select Committee (JSC) member Paul Richards says the public will be frustrated with vacancies in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and how this impacts on the justice system. “So while we touting that we want to solve crime and we want to reduce criminality and we want to increase the efficiency of the criminal justice system, the public can hear this is one of the problems. Because if you have 57 per cent of your staff in a critical agency like the Office of the DPP lagging behind like this...it is somebody’s fault and the public is paying for this inefficiency...with continued lapses, with people sitting on Remand for years – six years on average, and presumed innocent. And the public has a right to be frustrated with this.”
He was speaking yesterday as the JSC on National Security met officials of the Service Commissions Department at the Parliament Building, Port of Spain.
JSC member Gerald Ramdeen said correspondence from the DPP in August said there were 74 positions vacant out of a sanction strength of 128. He asked Director of Personnel Administration Prabhawatie Maraj if the regulations were working with 57 per cent of positions vacant.
Maraj responded the department has been ready to fill most vacancies but has to get recommendations from the DPP through the permanent secretary to fill the positions.