Gov’t passes bill to amend retirement age for DPP and Auditor General

Despite objection from the Opposition, the government used its majority to pass a bill amending the constitution to increase the retirement age for the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Auditor General.

The change is from 60 to 65 years, bringing it in line with what obtains for other workers in the civil service.

When the bill was read, by Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, the Opposition called for a divide, and at the end of the process, 39 members voted for, while 8 voted against.

In his presentation, Mr. Chuck explained that there was need to fix the inconsistency with retirement age stipulations in the Pensions Public Service Act.

In objecting to the move, Opposition Leader Mark Golding described the action as bad governance.

Other Opposition members noted concerns about focus being misplaced on retirement age when there is the more pressing issue of the salary paid to prosecutors.

They lamented as well as that the change in retirement age will signal to other workers in the entities that there is no room for upward mobility because the tenure of the incumbent office holder is being extended.

Meantime, the People’s National Party (PNP) earlier today warned that if the government proceeded with the bill to amend the constitution to facilitate a further extension of the tenure of the DPP, it would consider taking legal action.

In a statement today prior to the sitting of parliament, the PNP said the move raised serious concerns about democratic governance and the principles of constitutional reform.

Noting that the opposition was not consulted on the matter, Opposition Leader, Mark Golding said his party will reconsider its participation on the constitutional reform committee and will be seeking legal advice on the matter.


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