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More questions than answers

... as Govt continues to attack the institutions of the State
Sunday, July 22, 2012

No right thinking citizen of Trinidad and Tobago can accept the continuing demeaning by the Government of the important institutions of the State. All citizens have a duty to be vigilant against the continuing attacks by the Government on the institutions of the State which have undermined and subverted democracy, openness, transparency, accountability and the principles of good governance.



The regional and international image of this country and its integrity have been irreparably damaged by this Government. Unless steps are taken to rescue and fix our nation, the soul of our nation would be destroyed and there would be no future for our young people.


In the face of the deafening silence from some of the relevant bodies and individuals in our country, I consider it my duty as a citizen to comment on the appointment of the new Central Bank governor. This is the most recent example of the continuing attack by the Government on the institutions of the State.


There are more questions than answers in the appointment of the new Central Bank governor. The process and criteria that were used to appoint the new governor are flawed, to say the least. This continues to demonstrate the inept manner in which the Prime Minister makes decisions; it goes back to the Reshmi Ramnarine issue.



From as early as this, we knew the Prime Minister has continued to show that she does not appreciate that she has a responsibility not to demean the institutions of the State. This becomes more glaring daily. From all accounts, no one was interviewed for such an important, crucial and critical post.



It appears that the persons who were shortlisted gave in their resumes as late as the week when the appointment was made, and it is more than likely that only resumes were looked at and no one went through a rigorous interview process. Not to question anyone’s integrity, but we know what can be done with resumes.



We have seen recently, an example of this in the Reshmi Ramnarine issue. The fact that the Cabinet appointed the new governor on the last working day of the expiration of the new governor speaks volumes. The Government needs to tell the population the criteria used to appoint the governor and what was the process for selection.


Not to mention the fact that the person who was appointed was the least qualified out of the three candidates. The deputy governors of the Central Bank are all more qualified, have a lot more experience and are all versed in the operations of the Central Bank. The appointment reeks of nepotism and cronyism, and it is another case of jobs for the boys.


This informal manner of selection of this appointee cannot be the way we choose persons for such important positions. As Dr Terrence Farrell referred to it in his article on Monday, it is a continuing traumatic assault on the institutions of State.
The state boards—NGC, CAL, T&TEC, UTT and others are all under attack.


The diplomatic offices are also under attack. An example is the ambassador for our most important diplomatic posting; a veterinarian with no real corporate experience or diplomatic experience. This is the ambassador for the US, Mexico and the OAS. We cannot treat such important institutions in such a cavalier manner. The governor of the Central Bank is charged with important duties which impact upon the economy and the daily lives of the population. These include:
•  State of the country’s exchange rate
•  Fiscal and monetary policy
•  Rate of inflation
•  The regulation and management of the entire financial system
•  The oversight of financial institutions
•  Puts in place the structure for financial progress
•  Liaising with the international financial institutions


The Government must tell this country what gave this individual the edge over the other candidates, to have been appointed to the most important position with regard to overseeing fiscal and monetary policy in our country. What about Standard and Poors, the international rating agency which just downgraded Barbados a few days ago. Will we now suffer the same fate?


We must be the laughing stock of the Caribbean. We have had an illustrious history as far as this position goes and the public perception is that so far, the holder of this office has been untouchable. The first act of this new governor was to say, “Thank You, Kamla.” What is the next institution in our nation to face similar assault by this Government?


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