PM announces plans to dismantle Service Commissions

Home*Cover Story*News

PM announces plans to dismantle Service Commissions

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has announced that come 2024 he will be moving to dismantle Service Commissions.

Speaking to supporters at a PNM sports and family day at the Toco Secondary School on Sunday, Dr Rowley said he intends to replace them with a single tribunal that will hear the complaints of public servants.

According to the PM, all public services were underperforming.

He said while some were calling for constitutional reform, he wanted to reform the system in place to address many of the gaps in the public service.

“These so-called independent service commission’s that are hamstringing this country, there are certain things that will never change, that will never improve, as long as basic management tenets are not being met.”

“What we want in the 21st century, is to abolish all those service commissions and replace them with one tribunal. Because the purpose behind a service commission in 1962, was to protect people from arbitrary action of the incoming new government in the new country of TT, and (for) some people who were afraid that there would have been racial discrimination and this and that and the other.”

Rowley said while service commissions were inimical to good order, they had outlived their usefulness.

“So if the political pundits and all the supporters and columnists, if they really want change in this country, let us by public acclamation, across the nation, make the change of abolishing service commission’s in total.

“Put modern management systems in place. Put a tribunal in place for the public service arrangements.

“And any public officer, whether it is a prison officer or policeman or teacher, if you have a problem with the management, you go to the tribunal and the tribunal will protect you. And that will give us a giant step and that is reform of the Constitution.”