Senator the Honourable Jennifer Baptiste Primus provided the following oral response in the Senate of the Parliament on Wednesday 05 February 2020:
Question No. 66 to the Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development
Given the announcement in the 2019/2020 Budget that an Authority for financial cooperatives will be established, can the Minister indicate what human resourcing arrangements will be made for Cooperative Development Officers currently working at the Cooperative Development Division of the Ministry?
The decision announced by the Minister of Finance in the 2020 National Budget, points to the strategic direction that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago intends to follow regarding the enhanced regulation, supervision and development of Co-operative Societies.
Questions relating to the human resource arrangements for Co-operative Development Officers (CDOs) currently working in the Co-operative Development Division (CDD) of the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development (MOLSED) are operational issues which can only be addressed as part of an overall Action Plan involving an in-depth discussion and consultation with all stakeholders including the representative trade unions. The focus of the Ministry is to support the institutional strengthening to the CDD. As a result, in keeping with the decision of Cabinet, discussions have been initiated with the Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago to provide technical support in areas such as:
- on-site inspection and examinations of credit unions
- assessment and analysis of financial investments;
- risk-based supervision of credit unions; and
- re-construction and liquidation.
In addition, to ensure that the CDOs are in possession of the requisite skills, the Central Bank has agreed to ensure that the necessary technical training as it relates to the financial and supervisory function are made available to the current staff of the CDD. This is one aspect of an overall programme to ensure that the staff of the CDD are equipped with the requisite competencies to perform their jobs and that the CDD is fully staffed with the human resources necessary for the development of the Co-operative Sector in Trinidad and Tobago. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is also focused on the strengthening of the CDD through the filling of all existing vacancies by the Director of Personnel Administration in order to boost the administrative and regulatory functions of the Division.