Outspoken Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn has called into question Government’s unprecedented sanction of a second Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Royal Barbados Police Force. Franklyn suggested the appointment was ultra vires in the absence of an amendment in Parliament to the Police Act that governs the appointments of police officers
Assistant Commissioner of Police Oral Williams was officially elevated to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Police on May 1. This follows the appointment of Erwin Boyce to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Police on May 1, 2018.
Boyce was one of five senior cops interviewed by the then Police Service Commission (PSC). The PSC was revamped following the May 24, 2018 general election and replaced by the Protective Services Commission. Williams’ elevation marks the first time since the establishment of the force in 1835 that there are two appointed deputy commissioners.
Commenting on the development, Senator Franklyn said in a statement that he did not know whether to congratulate DCP Williams or offer him his commiserations. Senator Franklyn said he did not know of Williams’ work or performance as a senior police officer and could not speak to his fitness. However, he noted his concern was that Williams had been appointed to a non-existent post. He explained that the police force’s allocation of a deputy commissioner had already been done.
The Opposition senator referred to Section 6 of The Police Act, Chapter 167 of the Laws of Barbados, that relates to the appointment of one Commissioner of Police and one Deputy Commissioner of Police.
“The Force shall consist of a Commissioner, a Deputy Commissioner and such number of Assistant Commissioners, Superintendents, Inspectors, subordinate police officers and constables respectively as does not exceed the number provided by any order made under section 2 of the Civil Establishments Act: but the members of the Force at 16th October 1961, shall continue to be members of the Force and shall be subject to this Act,” Franklyn quoted.
The senator explained that the number of persons appointed to the post of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner was subject to primary legislation, in this case the Police Act, and could only be changed by an amendment to that Act done in Parliament. He added that the Police Act gave the minister responsible for Civil Establishments the power, by subsidiary legislation, to determine the number of Assistant Commissioners, Superintendents, Inspectors, subordinate police officers and constables.
“For completeness, the Civil Establishments Act was repealed and replaced by the Public Service Act on December 31, 2007. The power to determine the number of posts in the Public Service is now found at section 13. (1) of the Public Service Act.
“The power to make appointments to public offices and to remove and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in the Public Service is vested in the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of service commissions, in this case the Protective Service Commission. That service commission, like all others in Barbados, can only recommend the appointment of persons to posts that are available. There is only one post of Deputy Commissioner available and that is already filled,” he stressed.
Franklyn asked who was responsible for this “cock-up” and queried whether Williams’ appointment was yet another example of the Mia Mottley administration not getting anything right the first time.