Griffith undergoes performance appraisal by Police Service Commission

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Gary Griffith. File photo/Sureash Cholai

THE Police Service Commission (PSC) said on Friday it did an appraisal of former commissioner of police (CoP) Gary Griffith’s performance from January-August 2021. It says it hopes to complete the process for the appointment of a new commissioner by the end of the year.

In a statement, the PSC said the Constitution mandated it to appoint a commissioner and deputy commissioner, and do an annual performance appraisal on these office holders.

“With respect to its responsibility for the preparation of performance appraisal reports, the PSC is now involved in the finalisation of the performance appraisal report for the past commissioner of police, Mr Gary Griffith.

“In accordance with the established procedure, the commission is required to meet with Mr Griffith in this regard.”

The appraisal was done on June 28.

The PSC said it designed and developed a recruitment process in line with the Constitution and relevant legal notices.

“The objective of the process is to ensure a fair and transparent procedure for the selection and appointment of the best candidate in accordance with the criteria prescribed by order of the President made pursuant to section 123(2) of the Constitution.

“The process is also designed to ensure fairness to and the confidentiality of the candidates.”

In the process, a vacancy is advertised and applications received, a confidential number is assigned to each applicant, and applicants are screened by the commission’s secretariat (excluding commissioners). Successfully screened candidates are assessed by an independent assessment centre and successful candidates are shortlisted.

“(A) vetting process is conducted.

“Shortlisted candidates are introduced to and interviewed by the commission members.”

Under the Constitution (section 123(3), the PSC creates a list of individuals for appointment to the office, in an order of merit.

“The list is submitted to the President of the Republic of TT for the relevant notifications to the House of Representatives.

Appointments are made by the PSC only after approval by the House in line with the Constitution (section 123(5).

Griffith told Newsday, the assessment had placed the present members of the PSC in a difficult position as they had not been in place during his tenure, to now assess him. Likewise, he had been put in a difficult position, as when he was assessed he was no longer in the post of CoP.

Griffith said, as the former CoP it would be totally irresponsible for him to disclose details of his assessment.

Regarding the year-end target date to now fill the post, he asked why the whole process typically takes seven months (and costs millions of dollars) while in places like New York, it takes seven hours. He urged a reformed process, despite him topping past assessment exercises.

“Under the present process, suppose someone is selected and, God forbid, they then drop dead? You’ll go back to being without a CoP for one year.”

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