As the new director of the Taxi and Livery Commission, Jevuaghn Parsons will be responsible for conducting administrative hearings as officials continue to tighten regulations for the territory’s transportation-for-hire industry, Transportation, Works and Utilities Minister Kye Rymer said on Feb. 25 at the House of Assembly.
In addition to running these meetings, during which he fields complaints filed against taxi operators, Mr. Parsons, who was appointed on Feb. 17, is also charged with implementing decisions made by the TLC board, assisting police in conducting background checks of applicants for a taxi licence, Mr. Rymer said.
“Taxi and livery inspectors will be armed with the Taxi and Livery Ticket book effective [April 2], which will enable them as inspectors to be more effective in inspecting and regulating the industry subject to the Taxi and Livery Commission Regulations,” the minister said.
Lawmakers passed legislation in 1997 that called for the creation of the TLC, but it was not until 2011 that Cabinet approved a measure establishing the body.
However, without a proper set of rules and guidelines, the body struggled for years to perform its duties, late Complaints Commissioner Elton Georges said in 2015.
The issue came to Mr.Georges’ attention when he learned of a taxi driver on Virgin Gorda whose request to renew his taxi licence was denied by the Department of Motor Vehicles on the TLC’s advice because of misconduct allegations dating back several years, he said.
Because the TLC failed to follow the proper mechanism for offering the taxi driver disciplinary hearings and appeals, however, he filed a grievance with the Complaints Commission and eventually had his licence restored.
“They didn’t have these things in place, so the driver didn’t get natural justice,” Mr. Georges said.
Then-TLC Director Dameon Percival blamed the issues on inaction by the then-Ministry of Communications and Works, and he called for several reforms including the hiring of another administrator and five inspectors; a demerit system; and an appeals tribunal.