Minority Leader in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Kelvon Morris has called on Chief Secretary Farley Augustine to review the operations of the various division and reshuffle his executive.
During a news conference on Thursday, Morris questioned whether the office of the deputy chief secretary was serving any useful purpose. The Deputy Chief Secretary is Dr Faith BYisrael.
He claimed over the past two years, almost $10 million had been spent on salaries for staff in the office of the deputy chief secretary and $2 million was spent on rent for a building that was never used.
“We have to come to the point where we have to ask ourselves whether the office of the Deputy Chief Secretary is serving the purpose for which we were told it was supposed to serve. We have to ask ourselves whether that office of the Deputy Chief Secretary is giving us value for money,” he said.
“The time has come for the chief secretary to review the functions of all the various divisions of the THA and perhaps do some reshuffling. I would say perhaps there are a number of Tobagonians outside, experienced, willing and capable, and perhaps now might be the time for us to take a true all-of-Tobago approach to make sure we get the job done by people who are capable, by people who are competent and people who are committed.”
He added, “Honourable Chief Secretary, you promised us a reshuffle since last Christmas, and I am simply asking to give the people of Tobago who are waiting to exhale, at least at your mid-term, the comfort of a reshuffle that would see some new faces that will make all of us comfortable.”
Morris said the office of the Deputy Chief Secretary has two core functions: to advance the island’s autonomy and to provide services in Trinidad for Tobagonians living in Trinidad.
“On those two core functions, the office of the Deputy Chief Secretary has failed and failed miserably. There has been nothing to advance Tobago’s autonomy.
“In fact, we have had over 20 sittings in the Assembly Legislature and through the office of the Deputy Chief Secretary, not one of those motions involved the autonomy issue.”