Allyson West, Minister of Public Administration – File photo by Sureash Cholai
MINISTER of Public Administration Allyson West on Friday spelt out a new dress code for members of the public on their visits to government offices.
She addressed a briefing at the Old Fire Station on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain. Communications Minister Symon de Nobriga also attended.
West said the new code would be more relaxed than previous practice, which she said had been “archaic and rigid.”
She said the main focus on the new code would be to curb any attire deemed obscene, such as offensive words displayed on a jersey, and also to allow someone’s face to be seen by security guards.
However, she emphasised that her ministry was very keen that members of the public were able to access public services.
West, when asked, noted that while her ministry has a relationship with the Ministry of Education, the latter would maintain its own policy on a dress code for entry to public schools.
Further, she said her dress-code policy would be subject to further policies that might be in place at individual government offices which specifically deal with headshots of individuals, such as the Immigration Division, Licensing Office and Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC).
Attire that will be allowed now included vests, jeans and slippers. However, entry to government offices will not be allowed for individuals in swimwear, in garments made of sheer material, who are bareback, or who wear garments displaying an obscene message.
Shorts are okay, once at least mid-thigh in length, and so are distressed (torn) jeans. Religious wear covering the face is allowed, although the wearer will have to allow his or her face to be seen by security guards in a private area, West said in reply to Newsday’s question.