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Remove inability to fire public servants

Saturday, August 12 2017

THE EDITOR: A short while ago, one of TT’s distinguished retired bankers suffered a horrible home invasion, where his apartment was ransacked and a number of items stolen. Among the items stolen was his wife’s handbag.

In the community where this unfortunate incident occurred there is a very determined and hard working community activist who visits the neighbourhood police station on a weekly basis to follow up on progress into the investigations of criminal matters, like the one above.

When she made one of these visits recently and enquired into the robbery of the banker, the constable on duty responded positively and reached behind his desk to offer up a muddy handbag containing a mud-soaked empty wallet, identity cards etc.

Further questioning revealed that the station was in possession of the handbag, found in a nearby river, for a number of days, even though the retired banker and his wife reside less than half a mile away.

Now, you may find this statement strange, but I understand the police’s lackadaisical response to this matter, because their current work rule gives them no incentive to perform well. As it currently stands in the Public Service, which includes the Police Service, whether you perform or not makes little difference to your career prospects.

In this intolerable situation, the only solution is to amend the constitution to remove the inability of public servants and critical state service employees to be hired and fired like anyone else in the private sector.

The original intent of this protection to workers employed by the state was to prevent state coercion, but it has effectively made misbehaviour by public workers impossible to deal with and the consequence is most apparent in the Police Service.

Gregor y Wight Maraval

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