Offices of Chief Secretary and deputy chief secretary merged

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, right, and Deputy Chief Secretary Dr Faith BYisrael. – File photo courtesy THA

THE offices of the Deputy Chief Secretary and the Chief Secretary have been integrated effective May 1.

In a statement, the office of the chief secretary said five departments currently fall within the remit of the office of the deputy chief secretary.

They include the Inter-Governmental Relations Department; Diaspora Relations Department; Foreign Direct Investment Department; Policy Monitoring and Evaluations Secretariat, and the Energy Bureau. These departments now reports directly to the chief administrator.

The Inter-Governmental Relations Department will be responsible for the review of national legislation to determine the effectiveness of their impact on the lives of Tobagonians.

To the extent that the specific legislation is deemed deficient in addressing the needs on the island, the statement said, the department will develop counter proposals in the form of assembly bills to be debated by the THA Legislature and presented to the central government for amendment to the parent legislation.

The Department of Diaspora Relations Department will facilitate, interface and create linkages with the Tobago diaspora resident in Trinidad, as well as those living regionally and internationally. It will function as a co-ordinating agency for collecting data on non-resident Tobagonians, in addition to providing information and support services to the diaspora.

The department will work to mobilise diasporic support to impact Tobago’s development on a range of government services specific to Tobago.

In the area of foreign direct investment, the department will be responsible for developing and implementing a THA model to attract and facilitate foreign direct investment from international investors whose business ventures align with Tobago’s developmental goals.

The Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Secretariat will ensure that synergy exists between the policies implemented across the divisions and that these policies are consistently aligned to the overall policy of the THA.

This secretariat will also ensure that these policies are implemented within established timelines. Gaps which impact deliverables will be identified and reported to the chief secretary as head of the executive council, to ensure corrective actions are taken within the shortest possible time frame.

The release said the Energy Bureau is expected to represent Tobago’s interest on present and prospective energy matters nationally; to assess the existing formulae used to monetise the hydro-carbon resources nationally to ensure that Tobago receives an equitable share of the rent vis-à-vis its contribution from its natural resources.

It said the bureau will be required to monitor and evaluate the extraction of the fossil energy resources in and around the waters of Tobago to ensure that Tobago benefits appropriately. The bureau is also expected to evaluate Tobago’s energy needs and develop new options in renewable energy towards minimising the island’s carbon footprint.

Anyone wishing to access the services offered by the office of the deputy chief secretary should call 639-3421.