DEOSARAN QUITS PSC
By JADA LOUTOO Thursday, August 7 2014
CRIMINOLOGIST Professor Ramesh Deosaran has resigned as a member and chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC). His resignation, which takes effect September 1, was announced yesterday via a release from the Office of the President.
While no reason was given for Deosaran’s resignation, which comes two months after his reappointment for a second term, sources close to the Professor said it was due to health related issues.
Had he stayed on as PSC chairman, Deosaran’s term would have ended on May 22, 2017. Efforts to reach Deosaran were futile yesterday. The release said Deosaran’s letter of resignation, dated August 1, was received by President Anthony Carmona on August 6, and was accepted.
Deosaran, in his resignation letter stated, “As Chairman, I have ensured the constitutionally required appointments of Commissioner (Acting) and Deputy Commissioner (Acting) of Police have been properly done last month so as to help ensure stability at the executive level of the Police Service.
“The Multi-Sectoral Review Team which I chaired had submitted its report since March 2013 proposing the required reforms to the administrative and legislative framework within which the PSC now operates.
“You will recall, Mr President, when, as the Review Team’s chairman, I presented this report to you, I explained the extent to which the current framework prevents the PSC from executing its constitutional mandate with the required efficiency and effectiveness. I understand the Executive is giving this matter its attention.
“With the cooperation and support of members of the PSC, and based on past experience, the appraisal framework is being strengthened. In other words, Mr President, I have so far tried my best to execute my duty as well as to help bring the required reforms to the Commission. I have served the Commission for three years and four months. May I express my deep appreciation for the goodwill and confidence you have bestowed on me.”
At the PSC’s recent appraisal of acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, last month, Deosaran lamented that the process to find a substantive Police Commissioner was, “nowhere near the horizon”. He had in the past bemoaned the process, calling it “very convoluted, time-wasting and expensive.
Adviser to President Carmona, Theron Boodan said yesterday as soon as the President received Deosaran’s letter and accepted his resignation, the process to find a suitable replacement to the PSC began.
Deosaran’s resignation has now halted the work of the PSC and according to sources, the President is now hard pressed to find a replacement, pointing out that there are still appointments to be made to the Integrity Commission, which also remains in limbo because of a recent resignation on that commission.
“It is not as simple as just replacing someone. Persons are not willing to serve on commissions,” Boodan said. Speaking on behalf of the Government, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said Professor Deosaran served on the PSC with distinction, adding that dialogue on the legislative framework for the PSC’s operation he initiated was ongoing and was much needed.
Ramlogan said this work will come to fruition as the executive was giving it the required attention. He could not say if Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar would recommend to the President a replacement for chairmanship of the PSC.
During debate on the motion to approve the President’s nomination of Deosaran as a PSC member, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley expressed concerns about the reappointment given the abysmal drop in crime detection rates and the work of the Police Service.
“If the reported drop in the crime detection rate and similar statistics is true, then the people responsible for the Police Service ought not to be getting automatic reappointment—what’s the basis for the reappointment?” Rowley asked during the debate.
Long-serving PSC member, attorney Martin George, who is in Japan, declined comment when contacted yesterday. His only response on being told of Deosaran’s resignation was “interesting.” Efforts to reach other members of the commission also proved futile.
(See Page 16A)