The Minister of Finance intervened to authorize Deputy Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob to be given the responsibility of accounting officer for the police service.
A finance ministry statement released on Saturday said Jacob had been appointed a police accountant under section 2 of the Exchequer and Auditing Act, Cap. 69:01 and Article 3 of the Financial Regulations.
The statement said Jacob had been appointed effective October 15.
The development came as the High Court on Thursday overturned Jacob’s role as interim COP. The CoP is the accountant of the police department and must sign invoices for goods and services.
Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar questioned the validity of DCP appointments under Jacob, especially DCP appointments, at a press conference at her office on Charles Street in Port of Spain on Friday. acting Erla Christopher and Joanne Archie.
Speaking at a press conference at St Ann’s Diplomatic Center on Saturday, Dr Rowley said that to his knowledge only two posts would be affected.
“I can say bluntly that this would affect the Commissioner of Police, it would affect the Deputy Commissioner who was acting as the Commissioner and that is as far as I know at this time.”
The judgment ruled that the appointments of former Police Commissioner (CoP) Gary Griffith and Deputy Commissioner McDonald Jacob as acting CoP were illegal.
The judge ruled that the legislation governing the appointment of the interim COP and interim deputy commissioners should follow the same procedure as the process for filling substantive positions and requiring approval from the House of Representatives after a list of candidates was submitted to the President by the Police Services Board (PSC).
On when a new commissioner would be appointed, Rowley said that while recognizing the need for swift action at this point, a new Police Services Board (PSC) must first be appointed.
He added that once the candidates’ approvals were made, Parliament would deal with the issues as a matter of priority.
“The Constitution requires that there be a PSC made up of a president and four others.
“This committee is chosen by the president who will then inform Parliament that these are the people to be taken into consideration.
“It is then up to Parliament to accept or reject. I have no doubt that the President’s House would have sought to fill these vacancies.
“As Prime Minister, I must be consulted, I have been consulted, I am consulted, names are proposed and the President will receive a response and names will be presented to Parliament.
“As soon as these names are in Parliament, the government will take steps to deal with the matter expeditiously.”
Persad-Bissessar criticized the appointment of lawyer Ernest Koylass to the PSC, which she said had recently organized a fundraiser for the PNM.
Rowley said such attacks were improper and part of the consultation process for the appointment of a new commission required confidentiality. Two other people were selected by the President to fill the vacant positions at the PSC. They are retired judge Judith Jones and management consultant Maxine Attong.