Independent senator calls for reform of service commissions

Independent Senator Anthony Vieira. -
Independent Senator Anthony Vieira. -

INDEPENDENT Senator Anthony Vieira will call for big changes in the structure and function of TT’s four services commissions when he moves a private motion in the Senate next Tuesday, as listed on the order paper. He also wants the TT Constitution amended to reflect any such changes.

Vieira named these bodies as the Public Service Commission, Police Service Commission, Teaching Service Commission and Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

His motion said their role is the “appointment, promotion, transfer and discipline” within the Public Service, in a way that insulates public office-holders from “political influence, patronage and discrimination.”

However he alleged deficiencies in these bodies which have negatively impacted the Public Service, such as long delays in the systems of appointment, promotion and disciplinary control of public officials.

Vieira urged, “And whereas no definitive action has been taken by governments to restructure the systems and operations of Service Commissions to better regulate the functions of the Public Service and improve service delivery to citizens;

“Be it resolved that this Senate call on the Government to review the Trinidad and Tobago Constitution and the enshrined Service Commissions and to table in Parliament, within a reasonable time, a clear plan for the update of the Constitution and reform of the Commissions.”

The order paper also lists another motion by Vieira for future debate, calling for a review of the operation of commissions of enquiry. He said these bodies were recognised as a tool for social investigation; delivering truth, justice and social/organizational reform; and inquiring into and ameliorating matters of public concern.

However he said successive governments have failed to address public concerns as to whether the commissions of enquiry in TT have been effectively and efficiently carrying out their mandate. Vieira will propose, “Be it resolved that this Senate call on the Government to review the Commissions of Enquiry Act, Chap. 19:01 and the public inquiry process in TT.”


"Independent senator calls for reform of service commissions"

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