Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Green light for Brown - Parties endorse him as director of elections; Fisher says he's in good stead

Published:Thursday | July 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer

Representatives of the two major political parties registered with the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) have endorsed the recommended appointment of Glasspole Brown as director of elections.

At the same time, former director of elections, Orrette Fisher, has said that Brown's first-hand experience has put him in good stead for the job.

In a statement issued on Monday, the ECJ disclosed that the eight commissioners have recommended to the governor general that Brown, 59, who is currently acting as director of elections, be appointed to the post left vacant by Fisher.

Fisher resigned in March amid a court battle with the ECJ about his job tenure.

Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Julian Robinson, one of two People's National Party commissioners to the ECJ, said that the parliamentary Opposition fully supports Brown's recommendation.

"He was by far the most outstanding of the candidates who was interviewed for the position and has performed his task creditably," asserted Robinson, noting that Brown had been an assistant director for nine years.

"We expect him to continue to maintain the high standards at the ECJ."

Jamaica Labour Party commissioner to the ECJ Tom Tavares-Finson was of like mind, pointing out that Brown's recommendation for appointment was a unanimous one.

"It was felt by the commission that his experience within the organisation, along with his vision for the organisation and for democracy in Jamaica, is one that we feel will do the country well," said Tavares-Finson.

"We look forward to him becoming an excellent director of elections and taking the commission forward," he added.

Fisher, meanwhile, argued that Brown was a member of the senior management team who was employed during his tenure as director and would have seen most of the activities that had taken place.

"The position that he is elevating from, assistant director of administration, was the same one I had occupied before I was given the position of director," Fisher noted.

"He has been there in a senior position and would have been exposed to all the activities and so should be no stranger to the requirements of the job," added Fisher.

ECJ Chairman Dorothy Pine-McLarty said that she was pleased with Brown's selection.

 

Requirements for director of elections

 

In the advertisement for a new director of elections, the ECJ stipulated that candidates must be citizens of and resident in Jamaica and should not "by his own act or acknowledgement owe allegiance to any foreign state or power".

The job also asked for applicants to possess a master's degree in management, public administration or another relevant discipline; have training in project management; and possess five years' experience at a senior management level. The advertisement emphasised that having relative experience in an electoral management body and a sound background in information technology systems would be assets.

The advertisement also called for the ideal candidate to have "excellent leadership and interpersonal skills; high levels of integrity; excellent customer-relation skills; knowledge of social-media platforms; and a working knowledge of government guidelines relating to procurement, financial management and auditing practices", among other attributes.