Opposition legislator Caswell Franklyn today declared that Barbadians are now being forced to pay the salary for a position in the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) that does not exist in law.
Describing the decision to appoint a second Deputy Commissioner of Police without the backing of the Police Act as corruption, Franklyn is therefore urging the Prime Minister Mia Mottley to fire Attorney General Dale Marshall, who yesterday admitted that the post was confirmed in contravention of the Act.
“We take note that the Police Act only speaks to a single Deputy Commissioner of Police and it is therefore to be regretted that the required amendment did not take place in advance of this confirmation,” Marshall said in a statement while promising to have the matter regularised as soon as possible by bringing the necessary amendment to Parliament.
But Franklyn, an Opposition Senator, representing the People’s Party for Democracy and Development, said the second deputy Oral Williams, ought not to be paid at that level because the post is illegal.
“It is a nullity; meaning that it did not happen. He should not even be paid at that level. There is no provision for paying him any money anywhere. I don’t know how they got the money out of the Treasury to pay. But we have some compliant civil servants who refuse to do their duty to the best of their ability. He should not be paid,” contended Franklyn, who is also General Secretary of the Unity Trade Union.
The legislator said the appointment of a second deputy police commissioner amounts to political interference in the public service.
“It is bordering on corruption that this man is going home in less than a year, and is being promoted to deputy so he would get the pension based on the deputy commissioner’s salary,” Franklyn claimed.
“It has nothing to do with any efficiency in the police force. What will someone responsible for personnel do in crime fighting. The police does not need a person who is trained at the level of deputy commissioner to do personnel work. They could have gotten a senior personnel officer from the Ministry of the Public Service. You don’t need an HR person at the level of Deputy Commissioner,” he stated in reference to Williams’ new duties as deputy responsible for human resources.
“This is an excuse and a very poor one at that, to cover this gross error that happened.
“The Attorney General said the post was created last year. It is impossible to create the post of deputy commissioner of police without going to Parliament. So the post was not created last year. They think they did. There can be no creation of a post of Deputy Commissioner of Police if Parliament didn’t say so,” the Opposition senator contended.
“So they did something wrong and they were paying him since last year in a post that did not exist,” he added.
Franklyn also noted that the Prime Minister is the one in charge of the public service and is responsible for creating posts in that sector.
Pointing out that he did not expect the Prime Minister to know everything that goes on in that sector, Franklyn believes that she may have been fed bad advice from those on whom she relies.
He also told Barbados TODAY that the post of Deputy Commissioner of Police is not a political function and had nothing to do with the AG.
“So when I spoke l was not even referring to him. But I don’t know why he took the attitude toward me…he became arrogant and condescending and he shot himself in the foot in the process,” Franklyn said.
He said the AG’s attitude started this “whole furor” that was unnecessary.
“All I was trying to do was to point out that they made a mistake and that this was basically a public service issue,” the trade union leader explained.