Police Service Commission prepares for Court over Police Commissioner’s refusal to issue Promotions Order

Last Updated on Tuesday, 6 July 2021, 15:10 by Denis Chabrol

Acting Police Commissioner, Nigel Hoppie.

The Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe on Monday afternoon said he did not receive a reply from Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie concerning the issuance of  a special promotions order for more than 130 officers.

Mr. Slowe said now that Mr. Hoppie has breached the midday, Tuesday 6th July, 2021  deadline that was given to him, the matter would be taken to the High Court.

“We have not received any response from the Commissioner (of Police) and, therefore, the matter is likely to engage the attention of the court for a ruling,” the PSC Chairman told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/ Demerara Waves Online News.

Efforts by this publication to reach Mr. Hoppie by phone and messaging were not immediately successful.

The PSC Chairman reminded the Police Commissioner that he had acknowledged receiving the promotion list on June 30, 2021 that had been sent on June 28. The PSC Chairman had also beseeched the Police Commissioner to issue the order so that the Police Force’s quartermaster could issue the badges of rank to those officers.

However, Attorney General Anil Nandlall has said that the promotions would not be published in the Official Gazette because the PSC has been suspended by President Irfaan Ali until a tribunal is set up to probe into allegations against that constitutional body.

Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe

The Attorney General and the PSC’s external lawyer Selwyn Pieters are at one that a Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has to be established before the Tribunal is appointed, but they are at odds over whether the PSC could be suspended before or after that investigative body is set up.

Mr. Nandlall has said that government does not regard those promotions as legal and the PSC remains suspended unless lifted by the President, Tribunal or the Court.

The Guyana government appears to favour the promotion of several officers whose names had been sent by the Police Commissioner to the PSC but that body had largely rejected them because they have pending disciplinary actions.  Instead, the PSC has issued a list of officers that it says have been promoted.