Cabinet to decide on SAUTT in one week’s time

Cabinet to decide on SAUTT in one week’s time

By NALINEE SEELAL Monday, January 10 2011

The future of the Special Anti Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT) is expected to be decided by Cabinet in one week’s time.

Last Thursday members of Cabinet were presented with copies of an in-depth report compiled by the Steering Committee on the operations of SAUTT.

The report was compiled by chairman of the Steering Committee Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and Security Consultant Professor Daniel Gibran, with assistance from Julie Brown who is the Deputy Director of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA).

Newsday understands that the report has recommended a revamping of the elite unit, and another key recommendation that some of the resources at SAUTT be transferred to other units.

According to well placed Government sources, the report recommended that the investigative arm of SAUTT be transferred to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and that police and Defence Force officers who were seconded to the unit be returned to their respective posts. It also recommended that most of the foreigners hired at SAUTT be relieved of their contracts.

According to information reaching Newsday, the report also pointed out that SAUTT is duplicating the work done by other security intelligence agencies, and that officers there who are involved in that field of work be transferred to other units. According to sources, the jury is still out on the importance of the sky-ship, and a decision will be taken by Cabinet on whether to keep the blimp in the skies or if to sell it.

It is costing Government a lucrative sum to keep the blimp afloat, and the usefulness of the airship still remains a mystery, sources indicated.

The blimp continues to be grounded and has not been in operation for the past three months, and sources revealed that it is undergoing routine maintenance checks.

The Steering Committee appointed by Government to review the operations of SAUTT was hired late last year, after the then head of the unit Brigadier Peter Joseph was fired by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Original Article [Newsday]

House to meet twice a week

Published: Mon, 2011-01-10 18:05
Beginning this week, the House of Representatives will meet twice a week as Government embarks on its “aggressive” legislative agenda. This was revealed by leader of government business in the House, Minister of Housing and the Environment Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal. Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday,  Moonilal said from Wednesday, the Government would commence its “aggressive anti-crime legislative agenda.”

And Moonilal said while the People’s Partnership Government, led by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, had the constitutional majority required to pass all bills on its own, it would seek consensus from the Opposition in the Lower House. Moonilal said any move to deal with crime in T&T required the support of all. “We are always mindful that a national consensus is critical to addressing the national crime challenge,” he said.

“In the national interest and to ensure there is passage of good law, there must be consensus, all parties must work together.” He said the Anti-Gang Bill, the Bail (Amendment) Bill and a bill to establish an Anti-Corruption Commission would be debated early in the post-Christmas session. Moonilal said a bill would be brought to establish and provide for the operations of the Special Anti-Crime Unit of T&T (Sautt).

Moonilal also said when Parliament resumed,  the Government would focus on legislation dealing with street dwellers, the mentally-ill, people living with HIV/Aids and child abuse. He said a new Children’s bill, HIV/Aids legislation and a new Mental Health bill were among 12 bills, which were shortlisted for debate. Moonilal said the bill dealing with HIV and Aids was intended to protect people infected with HIV from discrimination.

He also said legislation would be tabled to establish the National Aids Co-ordinating Committee (NACC) as a statutory body in T&T and to strengthen the implementation of the national HIV/Aids policy. Moonilal also said the existing Mental Health Act is to be repealed in 2011 and replaced by a new regulatory framework. He said the legislation “will also seek to provide a mechanism for the socially displaced in T&T. “The Government will bring legislation to create a modernised, legal framework for mental health which addresses institutional and non-institutionalised patients,” he added. He said legislation was also expected to be brought to give the Central Bank more effective control of credit unions.

Original Article [Guardian]

Share this Post