Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Derrick Sylvester, has explained that the new position assigned to former Commissioner of Police Willan Thompson, is in compliance with the organisational structure of the Public Service.
The new appointment of Thompson as the Clerk of Parliament is not a demotion; it keeps him at the same rank of the public service. Sylvester said he was placed in a position which covers the grade under which the rank of Commissioner of Police is listed.
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 was appointed to the post of Police Commissioner by the Tillman Thomas Administration in 2008 and served until the change of government in February 2013. Following the return to government of the Keith Mitchell Administration, he went on outstanding vacation leave and was scheduled to return to work last Monday.
In his absence, Fitzroy James was appointed to act as Commissioner. Thompson was appointed by the Public Service Commission and cannot be fired nor can his contract be expired. As a result, once he has a desire to return to work, the Public Service can appoint him to another post with same rank as that of Police Commissioner.
Thompson began working at his new post of Clerk for the Houses of Parliament on Monday, as Ray Donald – who was servicing in the post – had written to the Public Service indicating a willingness to retire as a public servant.
As Clerk of Parliament, Thompson will have to, among other things, sign every piece of legislation that is approved by both Houses of Parliament.
By Linda Straker