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Nov 4, 2013

N.T.U.C.B. concerned about perception of transferred clerks involvement in passport scandal

So far it is only public officers that have been affected in the huge immigration scandal. The police say they are not looking in the direction of the former minister of state and the C.E.O. for the Immigration says it is not in her remit to question him. But the sudden transfer of clerks from the Immigration Department amid the ongoing criminal investigations, says N.T.U.C.B. President Dylan Reneau, is of concern to the unions because it gives the impression that something is awry, and that the clerks, presumably, had some involvement in what went wrong.  The functions of the department, according to the N.T.U.C.B. executives, will now be streamlined into specific areas of focus.

 

Marvin Blades, President, Public Service Union

Marvin Blades

“In the public service regulations the C.E.O. of Public Service has that responsibility or that authority to do that, they can get it and public officers are transferred every day, especially clerks.  They can be transferred as many times for the year to suit whatever work that needs to be done.  So it can be done.  Now where it would be a problem is if they were transferring immigration officers because their terms of reference or their TOR are different from those of other parts of the service.  So then you would have a serious problem.  But clerks are transferred regularly around the service.”

 

Dylan Reneau

Dylan Reneau, President, N.T.U.C.B.

“You can look at it from two angles though because these clerks would have some evidence to produce in any investigation so why would they be moved out all of a sudden.  And we know that the auditor general, it was reported in the house that the auditor general has gone in and so you wonder why now.  And when I met with, or the trade union congress along with the other social partners met with the minister and CEO and the director to talk about the National Scrutinizing Committee, we approached him with the question of why are these transfers.  And then we found out that they are doing a reorganization of the Immigration Department where they are splitting up the department into various units, investigative unit, processing unit, distribution unit, quality of service unit.  All of these units will now, it’s like they’re going to specialize. So you will be just to accept applications, ensure that everything is there.  You pass it over to this unit who will deal with… And that is the situation that they told us and they are saying that the immigration officers that are there now they won’t be moved and that they will be retrained to deal with these new departments that they are having.  But it was strange that we found that these clerks were being transferred, you know, and people are of the view that, well, something is amiss.”

 

As far as the investigations go, there is still no word from the Financial Intelligence Unit, the administrative investigation or the criminal investigation. 

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