The Office of the Chief Secretary advises the population that pursuant to Section 36 (3) (a) of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Act 40 of 1996, only Secretaries in the Executive Council of the THA were required to vacate their office, effective 12th May, 2020, upon the administering of the oath to the Chief Secretary, the Honourable Ancil Dennis, by Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
It must be noted that Deputy Chief Secretary Joel Jack, was not required to vacate office as the Deputy Chief Secretary, under the THA Act 40 of 1996. Additionally, Mr. Jack functions in the position of Deputy Chief Secretary while also functioning in the capacity of Secretary of Finance and the Economy and assuming responsibility for said Division but is not appointed as a Secretary in the Executive Council of the THA.
In the same vein, Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis has now assumed responsibility for the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation and functions in the capacity of Secretary of this Division but is not appointed as a Secretary in the Executive Council of the THA.
According to the THA Act 40 of 1996, Assistant Secretaries are not required to vacate their offices upon the installation of a new Chief Secretary. Therefore, it was not necessary for Assemblymen, Sheldon Cunningham, Shomari Hector and Marisha Osmond, to be re-appointed by Her Excellency the President.
Councillor Nadine Stewart-Phillips, a former Secretary, having vacated that office as stated earlier, in accordance with Section 36 (3) (a), was appointed an Assistant Secretary by Her Excellency, on the advice of Chief Secretary Hon. Ancil Dennis, in accordance with Section 37 B (1) of the THA Act 40 of 1996.
Consequently, the current complement of Assistant Secretaries is as follows:
- Assemblyman Sheldon Cunningham – Assistant Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment
- Assemblyman Shomari Hector – Assistant Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Transportation
- Assemblyman Marisha Osmond – Assistant Secretary of Education, Innovation and Energy (formerly Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Chief Secretary)
- Councillor Nadine Stewart-Phillips – Assistant Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development
Additionally, the Office of the Chief Secretary advises that the Executive Council of the Tobago House of Assembly can comprise one (1) Chief Secretary, one (1) Deputy Chief Secretary and an upper limit of seven (7) Secretaries. In this regard, the current composition of the Executive Council of the THA is as follows:
- Assemblyman Hon. Ancil Dennis – Chief Secretary and Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Transportation
- Assemblyman Joel Jack – Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance and Economy
- Assemblyman Clarence Jacob – Secretary of Settlements, Urban Renewal and Public Utilities
- Assemblyman Hayden Spencer – Secretary of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries
- Assemblyman Marslyn Melville-Jack – Secretary of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour
- Assemblyman Jomo Pitt – Secretary of Sport and Youth Affairs
- Assemblyman Kelvin Charles – Secretary of Education, Innovation and Energy
- Councillor Tracy Davidson-Celestine – Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development
- Councillor Kwesi DesVignes – Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment