THA Secretary: Presence of Trini licensing officers an overreach of the MOWT authority

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THA Secretary: Presence of Trini licensing officers an overreach of the MOWT authority

THA Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development Trevor James has called on the Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan to remove the licensing officers from Trinidad, who have been on the sister island for the past fortnight.

This is the latest in the dispute over a recent road traffic exercise in Tobago, in which the Chief Secretary’s wife was stopped for driving without a permit.

In a letter, dated April 19, James told Sinanan that the presence of licensing officers in Tobago without collaboration “or even the common courtesy of informing my division,” was an affront to his authority, to the THA and the people of Tobago.

“This situation therefore constrains me to request that you act with expedition to remove those officers who have been here in Tobago over the last fortnight, and over whom this matter has arisen; and to further admonish that your ministry resists any further inclination to continue, in any wise, in this modus operandus that constitutes an overreach of your authority.”

James, in the letter, also invited Sinanan “to an urgent discussion for the development of the necessary protocols and systems to better prosecute transport and licensing services” between Tobago and Trinidad.

James said as secretary, he was duty-bound to fulfil his responsibilities under the law. He said the THA Act “commands and empowers” him to “exercise general direction and control over that division,” although there should also be consultation and collaboration between the minister and the secretary.

At the post-executive council media briefing on Wednesday, Chief Secretary Farley Augustine accused Trinidad-based licensing officers of “terrorising” Tobagonians during the exercises. He described them as disruptive.