Registrar General’s Office in Tobago back up and running

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Registrar General’s Office in Tobago back up and running

The Registrar General’s Office in Tobago is back up and running.

This comes after staff at the Civil Registry received credentials allowing them to resume services, including the issuance of birth, marriage and death certificates, yesterday.

A release from the Registrar General’s Office said following a temporary disruption of services in Tobago, the restoration of civil registry services was prioritised to ensure that the public continues to have access to the critical services provided by the unit.

It said the Tobago office is now actively working towards restoring services to other impacted areas, including the Land Registry.

The release came after the Registrar General’s Department, in a Facebook post, called on the public not to be misled, claiming that the registration of births and deaths in Tobago never stopped and it had been registering births and deaths daily since October 2023.

Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said he was thankful that the matter was sorted out and services had resumed.

However, this did not stop activist Barrington “Skippy” Thomas from issuing a pre-action letter to Registrar General Karen Bridgewater-Taylor threatening action over what he claimed was an illegal move to block her deputy from accessing the online portal, creating a delay in issuing birth and death certificates in Tobago.

The pre-action protocol letter came hours before the media release from the Registrar General’s Office announcing the resumption of full services. It said the cause of the problem was unconstitutional and called for the matter to be resolved on or before October 23.

“The said decision is discriminatory in nature and breaches the constitutional rights of Tobagonians to equality of treatment from a public authority in the exercise of any functions pursuant to Section 4(d) of the Constitution,” the letter said.

Thomas, who was represented by Keron Ramkhalwhan, called on Bridgewater-Taylor to disclose “all pertinent documents, opinions, memos, records, minutes and other contemporaneous notes which record the reasons, rationale and logic of your decision.”

He further stated that his intended lawsuit sought a declaration that Bridgewater-Taylor’s decision was unreasonable, irrational and unconstitutional.

Augustine also called for Bridgewater-Taylor to be disciplined, adding that “it should never happen again.”