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Trade unionist calls for explicit guidelines regarding interdiction process in public sector

Oneil Grant
 
Calls are being made for more written rules and certainty about the interdiction process in the public service.
 
Oneil Grant, President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA), is pushing for the changes to avoid public controversy and to guarantee certainty in the process.
 
His proposal is in reaction to the recent Gleaner article which stated that Principal of Jamaica College Ruel Reid and head of the Caribbean Maritime University Fritz Pinnock were still being paid millions per year as salary while fighting criminal charges in court.
 
The story ignited fierce debate over whether persons in the public sector who are indicted on criminal charges should continue to be paid during their court proceedings.
 
The other issue is how this should be implemented when the country's constitution gives the presumption of innocence.
 
Mr. Grant explains that the interdiction process is often arbitrary and this leaves gaps in how interim sanctions are applied since "it is left open to the discretion of individuals to apply whether or not an individual is on half pay/quarter pay."
 
In addition, he suggested that in many cases, there is a "lack of transparency in relation to the application of interdiction" so basis on which the interdiction was made is not known.                                         
 
The JCSA president noted that critical questions should be considered in the review of the interdiction process in the public service, including "whether or not the public interest can be served by the officers remaining in the position or being interdicted."
 
He pointed out that in cases where the accusation is of fraud or misappropriation of public funds, "you don't expect that persons are going to be sitting at their desk or working otherwise in the public service when they have been so charged, particularly if the case against them is a strong one." 
 


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