Since his appointment as the Clerk of Parliament in early July, Willan Thompson will spearhead the proceedings of his first Parliamentary sitting on Thursday 14 August, in what could be the last sitting of the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament for the House of Representatives.
Thompson served as Commissioner of Police until he went on vacation leave following the 19 February 2012 General Elections after the Keith Mitchell Administration was elected into office. During his vacation, former Commissioner Winston James was appointed to act as the COP.
Thompson who was appointed by the Public Service Commission during the reign of the Tillman Thomas administration did not opt to resign from the post but express his willingness to continue as a public servant following his vacation which resulted in him officially getting transferred to the post of Clerk of Parliament.
The Clerk of the Parliament is responsible for maintaining the authentic records of proceedings of the House and signs or endorses all orders and official communications of the House. He is also responsible for preparing the texts of Acts of Parliament and for endorsing the proper copies of Bills and Acts.
Following his appointment, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Derrick Sylvester explained that the new position assigned to Thompson, is in compliance with the organisational structure of the Public Service and should not be seen as a demotion for the experience public servant.
Sylvester said, “The position of Police Commissioner falls in the Grade L category within the public service and there is no truth to say he was demoted. The Clerk of Parliament position belongs to Grade L. Other public service positions in that grade include the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecution, and Permanent Secretaries.”
Thompson replaced Raphael Donald who proceeded on pre-retirement leave. Thursday’s sitting of the fifteen member House of Representatives will be held at the Trade Center which is the temporary home for the houses of Parliament since the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2014. It begins at 9:00am.
Traditionally, the Houses of Parliament goes into a six week recess during late July or early August and resumes for a new session during late September or early October.
By Linda Straker