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I was the top candidate
Former National Security Minister Gary Griffith has sent a pre-action protocol letter to Bliss Seepersad, the new chair of the Police Service Commission (PSC), arguing that the PSC under former chairman Maria Gomes was in breach of several legal notices used in the process to select Deodat Dulalchan as Commissioner of Police.
He is arguing that because the process used was flawed, the recommendation is null and void and he wants the commission to rescind the list by June 22, 2018.
The pre-action protocol letter, sent to Seepersad by Griffith’s attorney Christian Chandler, noted that the attempt by attorneys of Dulalchan to justify their client being appointed as Commissioner of Police was totally inaccurate, since the controversy, according to Griffith, was far more “than allegations about a land probe” but had more to do with the PSC breaching several legal notices.
The breaches, according to the pre-action protocol, include what was deemed “the wrongful and biased criteria” used by PSC for the merit list.
Griffith said the PSC admitted it used three main factors in their personal assessment, Command and Control, Police Experience and Security Vetting. But the letter accused Gomes of drafting criteria “to provide points for candidates based on Policing Experience and not Law Enforcement Experience” which, according to Griffith, “shows that she and the PSC’s final interview had blatantly showed a high degree of bias and operated in total contrast to the stipulation for candidates eligible to apply for the post as in law.”
Griffith also accused the Gomes-led PSC of showing “blatant disregard for the law and showing bias against anyone outside of the Police Service who applied for the post.”
He said it was “this attempt used by the PSC to have my points altered from 81.94 per cent, after I was graded by experts in the firm, using law enforcement experience as stipulated in law, to then have the PSC conduct their own biased process and drop me over 23 per cent, using a system that they wanted to get their own result, and not what was mandated by our legal notice.”
Griffith said the PSC had “no right to have conducted their own assessments and grading,” since the legal notice was clear—that the task of the PSC in the process was to accumulate the points of each candidate, submitted by the firm (KPMG) based on the assessments, and then accumulate it to then provide a merit list for onward transmission to the President.
Had this been done, Griffith said his name “should have been submitted to the President, as I acquired the most points for those who applied for the post of Commissioner of Police.”
By law, he said a firm was to be appointed to conduct a stringent evaluation of candidates and this was done using “international best practices used to appoint persons in similar posts in other countries, and with the assistance of international experts in the assessments.”
Based on the comprehensive assessments, Griffith said he placed first among all who applied for the post, with the second place applicant being current acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams.
He said Dulalchan, who did not apply for the substantive post of CoP, was first among those who applied for Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Griffith’s letter details the comprehensive systems and assessment done by KPMG to acquire points for each candidate, which included their resume, a comprehensive medical test, security and financial vetting and background checks, an interview, psychometric testing and submission of a detailed National Security Operational report in preparation for a major event.
He noted that any altering of the merit list after this would have been done solely for the final interview by PSC and nothing else, as no other process for assessment took place, which should then mean that the results should not be vastly different.
He said the one point he agreed with from Dulalchan attorneys is that a commissioner should be appointed and that the current process not be scrapped.
But he said to appoint a commissioner based on wrongful and illegal procedures by the PSC would do “more harm than good, as someone appointed under such a cloud would never be able to acquire the respect and trust both by the public and the many officers under his command, and without this, he would fail before he starts.”
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