Members of the Guyson Mayers-led Police Service Commission (PSC) have been asked to resign.
Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson has written to the commissioners asking them to immediately send their letters of resignation to Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
“I am directed to kindly request you to submit a letter placing your instrument of appointment as a member of the Police Service Commission at the disposal of the Prime Minister, The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP,” stated Hinkson in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Barbados TODAY.
Hinkson expressed gratitude to the commissioners for past services rendered to the PSC and said he “looks forward to your early positive response”.
However, in a defiant response, Mayers, who told Barbados TODAY he was unaware of the letters, dismissed the correspondence from the minister, stating: “There is no legal authority for such a letter.”
Asked whether he had received one the PSC chairman replied: “Nobody would send me such a letter.”
The Service Commission’s (Police Service) Regulations, 1964 CAP.34 does not address the issue of the chairman simultaneously serving as an executive member of a major political party.
Mayers, an attorney-at-law, has come under fire for holding on to the position since his recent election as general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), having replaced George Pilgrim in that position.
Among his harshest critics was Caswell Franklyn, the trade unionist and Opposition senator, who suggested at a recent sitting of the Senate that Mayers did not have “a little bit of integrity”.
“That would never happen when people have a little bit of integrity. The thing is, the commissioner is not on these boards where the minister responsible can revoke their appointments, they have to misbehave in office and there is some little tribunal or whatever to take them out or they resign if they know better,” Franklyn said during the debate on the Public Service (General) Order, 2018.
“You can imagine the general secretary of a political party is the chairman of the Police Service Commission? the senator asked.
“I don’t believe that anybody with any modicum of decency would have done that,” said Franklyn, who accused Mayers of wanting to hold on to both posts so he could “put his people” in various positions.
The Mayers led commission was involved in a promotions controversy, which led to a lawsuit in 2016 by 15 officers who had claimed they had been unfairly overlooked for promotion.
A High Court judge dismissed the case against the PSC, which along with the Attorney General and former Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin, had been sued by police officers over their non-promotion during Dottin’s tenure.
According to Section 91 of the Barbados Constitution, the Chairman and members of the Commission “shall be appointed by the Governor General acting on the recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, by instrument under the Public Seal”.
Section 91.3 also stipulates that the office of a member of the Commission shall become vacant at the expiration of three years from the date of his appointment or at such earlier time as may be specified in the instrument by which he was appointed.
Hinkson could not be reached for comment, and PSC member and former senior police officer Keith Whittaker declined to speak on the contents of the letter.
The remaining members of the PSC are Anglican priest Dr Von Watson, retired permanent secretary Shirley Farnum and businessman Neville Lewis.