T&T names new Public Administration Minister

Public Admin Minister Allyson West

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Another woman will be at the helm of the Ministry of Public Administration after former minister Marlene McDonald was fired over fraud-related charges.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that he had advised President Paula-Mae Weekes to assign junior finance minister Allyson West as Minister of Public Administration. She will take up the post in addition to holding on to her responsibilities as Minister in the Ministry of Finance which she has held since June 30, 2017.

West is a former Partner and Territory Tax Leader in the Tax and Corporate Services Department of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Trinidad and Tobago.

The position of Public Administration Minister was left vacant after McDonald’s appointment was revoked ahead after she, her common-law husband Michael Carew and three others were slapped with charges related to conspiracy to defraud government, money laundering and misbehaviour in public office.

Rowley had initially announced Senator Garvin Simonette as her replacement, but a few hours later that was reversed when it came to light that Simonette had a 2014 conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in the United States. The Prime Minister then said he would take on the portfolio.

In his announcement, he also disclosed that Simonette, who had submitted his resignation after the controversy over his DUI, had his appointment as Senator revoked. Foster Cummings is to be appointed Senator to fill the void.

Additionally, Adrian Leonce has been appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Public Utilities.