As Director of Public Prosecutions Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit struggles to fill prosecutorial and administrative posts in her office, human resources issues and low salaries continue to deter new recruits, she reportedly said late last year during the Standing Finance Committee deliberations.
According to a report on the closed-door SFC proceedings, Ms. Scatliffe-Esprit said all positions had been filled at the time of the meeting except for four senior Crown counsel positions and one office generalist.
The DPP added that her office was actively recruiting and interviewing candidates for the Crown counsel positions, and while she hoped to have them filled by this month, the process was hampered by salaries that are much lower than those found in the private sector.
Ms. Scatliffe-Esprit said that a spending request had been made to increase the base salary of senior Crown counsels to $60,000 from $57,000, along with a separate and independent salary review which is in its early stages.
“The requested increase was to allow them to negotiate salaries with the incoming recruitment for the senior Crown counsel posts,” the report stated.
Representatives from her office did not respond to questions from the Beacon about whether the senior Crown counsel positions are still open.
Beyond securing higher salaries for prosecutors, Ms. Scatliffe-Esprit provided a list of other initiatives planned for the new year: obtaining better security for staff in her office; attending the annual Cybercrime Conference in April and the annual Prosecutors Empowerment Programme in August; conducting a series of trainings for the law enforcement agencies investigation, case file management, evidence and court presentation; and reviving the tradition of twice-yearly staff retreats, which would cost between $65,000 and $75,000 and serve as a team-building and skill-building opportunity.