Governance in Public Office

Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) has observed with concern, the unfolding series of events surrounding claims of sexual harassment and wrongful termination involving a former Minister of Sport and his personal assistant. From the information available in the public domain, it appears that from the start the decision-making in this very serious issue involved lapses, where mis-steps and misjudgements may have led to the present predicament.

To address the apparent governance deficit being displayed with this matter and to ensure lessons are learnt, TTTI is of the view that the following issues and any other associated concerns should be fully ventilated and answered:

  • Who was responsible for addressing the issue at the Ministry of Sport when the sexual harassment issue was first raised and how should the issue have been addressed?
  • The process of termination: Why was a non-disclosure arrangement used? Was this a recommendation out of the Court proceedings? Was this a proper use of public funds?
  • The committee: What was the remit of the committee and was the principle of natural justice followed?
  • What action is being taken in the Ministry of Sport and other Ministries/Departments to prevent a recurrence of this situation?

TTTI is of the view that good governance must be characterized by full disclosure to the public on matters involving public institutions, public funds and ethics in governance. TTTI seeks to ensure good governance, accountability, integrity and transparency in all matters of public interest as these principles are the main pillars of a democracy and must be supported and protected at all cost.

Our youth observe and mimic our leaders; hence, our leaders must always strive to lead with integrity. That produces excellence in leadership and, as famously stated: “The greatest example of leadership is leadership by example.”

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