It is not my intention to engage in a tit-for-tat with the Honourable Prime Minister, Ms Mia Mottley. But I would consider it a dereliction of duty if I did not respond to what I consider to be erroneous assertions made by her while explaining her role in the creation of a second post of Deputy Commissioner in the Royal Barbados Police Force.
Ms Mottley maintains that she was entitled to create that post by virtue of the power she has, as Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, in accordance with section 13.(1) of the Public Service Act. I am of the view that the Minister of the Public Service has the power to create posts in the Public Service but that power is limited by section 6 of the Police Act which allows the Minister to create posts in the Force from Assistant Commissioner down to constable. I will leave that alone for the time being and concentrate on the power to create post generally.
Among other things, section 13.(1) states:
The Minister May by order
(a) establish offices in the Public Service;
(b) determine the number of persons who may be appointed to those offices…
However, that subsection does not give the Minister cart blanche to just create posts by the stroke of the pen without more. The power is circumscribed by section 13.(3) which states:
Subject to subsection (4), an order made under subsection (1) shall be subject to affirmative resolution.”
In order to give a complete picture, subsection (4) states:
“Subsection (3) shall not apply to any order that relates to the qualifications required in respect of the offices in the Public Service.
The operative term in subsection (3) is “subject to affirmative resolution” which is defined at section 41.(5) of the Interpretation Act, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Barbados. It states:
The expression “subject to affirmative resolution” when used in relation to any statutory instruments or statutory documents shall mean that such instruments or documents shall not come into operation unless and until affirmed by a resolution of each House.
Even if the Prime Minister had the power to create a second post of Deputy Commissioner of Police, she would be required to lay the order in Parliament. And that order must be approved by both Houses before it is effective.
To my certain knowledge, as of the date of writing this rebuttal (May 18, 2020) the resolution to give effect to an order to create another post of Deputy Commissioner, has never been approved and does not appear on the Order Paper of either the House of Assembly or the Senate. This therefore means that legally there can be no second post of Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Royal Barbados Police Force.
Without wanting to appear arrogant, I believe that this matter is now beyond doubt and I don’t think that the PM should give another tit or tat but an apology would be appropriate.