The Prime Minister, the Minister responsible for the Public Service, today insisted the controversial appointment of Oral Williams as a second Deputy Commissioner of Police is lawful.
Speaking during a tour of the site of the Hyatt Ziva Hotel Resort on Bay Street, St Michael Mottley dismissed the argument of Opposition legislator Caswell Franklyn that the new position was non-existent and therefore unlawful simply because the Police Act provided for only one deputy. Her remarks came even as the Attorney General gave an assurance that he would return to Parliament to amend the legislation retroactively to legitimise the appointment.
But the Prime Minister said Senator Franklyn is wrong because the section of the law on which he is relying had been abolished 13 years ago.
“In February of this year, I signed an Order, a Statutory Instrument… number 9 of 2020. It was subsequently laid in the House of Assembly on March 3 and in the Senate on March 11. That Order legitimately established the second post of Deputy Commissioner of Police in Barbados. The fact is, Mr Williams’ appointment is therefore lawful,” the Prime Minister stated.
“The Public Service Act under which I signed that Order repeals the provision of the Police Act that calls for a deputy commissioner of police. And if Senator Franklyn really wanted to be accurate, he would have told the country that section of the Civil Establishments Act that he was relying on has been repealed 13 years ago when the same Public Service Act was passed,” contended the Minister for the Public Service.
But in swift response, the Opposition Senator stuck to his guns, insisting that the appointment of Williams was outside of the law.
Senator Franklyn told Barbados TODAY the Public Service Act under which the Prime Minister made the Order only allows her to create posts for police officers other than a deputy and a commissioner.
“She needs to read properly. She can’t make that Order,” he insisted.
But Mottley, who served as Attorney General in the Owen Arthur administration. suggested the legal doctrine of implied repeal was in effect.
She argued that if a piece of legislation that was passed is in conflict with or is different from the original act, then the subsequent law, so long as it is constitutional, prevails.
“So that Mr Williams’ appointment is valid. It may not be tidy. Really it is not Mr Williams’ appointment that causes us to have to go back and look at the Police Act. It is the fact that the Police Act, refers to an Act that was repealed since 2007,” the Prime Minister declared.
She also rejected the senator’s suggestions that the appointment not only amounted to political interference but was a means of providing Williams with a deputy commissioner’s pension just a year before his retirement.
Mottley said it was the Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith who had asked for a second deputy.
“The truth is that the Commissioner of Police on November 7, 2018, wrote the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs asking for an additional post of deputy commissioner of police to be created. So this is nothing to do with paying anybody off,” she stressed.
The Prime Minister said Commissioner Griffith wrote again on February 26, 2019, asking for an assistant commissioner of police post to be created, setting out in both letters “six or seven grounds” as to why he needed these additional positions.
She also took the President of the Democratic Labour Party Verla DePeiza to task for questioning why the position of Deputy Commissioner was not advertised.
The Prime Minister recalled that it was the current General Secretary of the DLP Guyson Mayers then Chairman of the Police Service Commission, interviewed both Williams and the other deputy Erwin Boyce in 2013 for the post.
Mottley said: “They then proceeded to put Mr Boyce to act for five years. You know when Mr Boyce was appointed? In the middle of the general election campaign. Mr Boyce was appointed on May 1, 2018, by a Police Service Commission that was chaired by the general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party as he now is. Then we are going to have people tell us who is being appointed for improper reasons.
“The same Police Service Commission put Mr Oral Williams at the top of the list and said that should a need arise between now and the next two years Mr Williams should be appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Police without need for further interview.”
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