Justice Frank Seepersad – Jada Loutoo
A WARRANT officer class II of the TT Regiment has received the court’s permission to challenge the failure of his commanding officer to correct an error which is hindering his promotional prospects.
On Thursday, Justice Frank Seepersad granted leave to Marlon Ollivierra to pursue a judicial review claim against the Chief of Defence Staff and the regiment’s commanding officer.
Ollivierra has 14 days to file his claim which will come up for hearing on July 3.
In granting leave, the judge expressed a level of disquiet since it was not the first matter before him involving the promotion process in the Defence Force (TTDF).
He said it appeared that there were either some “real issues of dysfunction” in the administrative sections of the various formations of the TTDF, as it related to the adherence to the processes and procedures in the promotional process or there was a disconnect in how it should unfold.
“Either is unacceptable,” he said.
In his application, Ollivierra, who has served in the Regiment for the past 27 years, said the issue involving his seniority began in 2012 but that error was eventually addressed but incorrectly so.
He contends he was informed by the commanding officer on April 23, that he was ranked second on the seniority list for warrant officer class 11 which should put him at number 21 on the class 1 list if the correct procedure was followed.
However, he said despite assurances that the administrative error would be corrected, his name remains lower on the seniority list and officers who ranked lower than him have since been promoted.
“My peers have been promoted ahead of me, both those of whom were senior to me and those who, but for the administrative error, would have been junior to me.
“Apart from having my name placed lower down on the seniority list, a direct result of not being promoted when I was supposed to mean that I am not in receipt of the pay and emoluments associated with the rank of WO1,” he says in his application.
Ollivierra is represented by attorneys Arden Williams, Anthony Morre and Mariah Ramrattan.