PSC: EBC exec's appointment was above board
The Public Service Commission (PSC) has denied any wrongdoing in the selection of Fern Narcis as the new Chief Elections Officer of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC).
Opposition Senator Wade Mark on Tuesday raised concerns with the appointment, saying Narcis was a cousin of Public Administration and Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie.
He called on the PSC, which was responsible for the appointment, to explain.
In a media release, the PSC said it followed established procedures in making the appointment, which included approval from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
"The office was advertised within and outside the Public Service in order to attract a wide pool of candidates and with a view to establishing an Order-of-Merit List from which future appointments/promotions would be made," it said.
It said 44 applications in total were recieved and 12 persons were shortlisted to be interviewed to determine their suitability for the office.
From this 12, it said four persons were determined to have the requisite skills, knowledge, competencies and abilities to effectively perform the duties of the office of Chief Election Officer.
"The Commission determined that Candidate No. 1, Mrs. Fern Narcis, who previously held the office of Senior Legal Officer at the EBC, was most suited for the office.
"In accordance with the provisions of sub-sections (3) to (5) of Section 121 of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Prime Minister was consulted to ascertain whether he had any objection to the appointment of Mrs. Narcis as Chief Elections Officer.
The Prime Minister confirmed in writing that there was no objection to the appointment and the PSC subsequently appointed Mrs Narcis as Chief Election Officer."
The PSC said assertions made by Mark that Narcis was a “junior officer on contract” is erroneous.
"Mrs. Narcis, prior to her appointment as Chief Elections Officer, was the Senior Legal Officer, on contract, at the EBC," it reiterated.
The PSC stated that it all reasonable measures to ensure there was nothing that could compromise the PSC or the EBC and that the best available candidate was chosen. It stressed that the recruitment process was fair and transparent.