Bill extending retirement age of DPP, AuG now in effect
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Bill extending the tenure of the director of public prosecutions (DPP) and the auditor general (AuG) came into effect on Monday, July 31 after it was signed by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.
Despite objections from Opposition Members of Parliament last week, the constitution was amended by legislators to increase the retirement age of the DPP and the AuG.
The current DPP, Paula Llewellyn, will be 63 this September. Both she and the AuG were appointed in the same year, just a few months apart in 2008.
Following a debate during the sitting of the House of Representatives, which saw Opposition members speaking against the proposed adjustments in the Constitution (Amendment of Sections 96 and 121) Act, 2023, the legislation was approved via a divide of which 37 members voted “yes” and eight said “no”.
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck, in piloting the Bill, explained that the Constitution of Jamaica establishes a retirement age of 60 for the position of the AuG and the DPP via sections 96(1) and 121(1), respectively.
He said that the Pensions (Public Service) Act, which was promulgated in 2017, sought to, among other things, gradually increase the retirement age of public officers to 65 years.
“The Bill before this House reflects a proposal previously considered by Cabinet during the deliberations on the Pensions Bill in 2017. It was the intention of the Government to amend the constitution to give effect to the change in the age of retirement for officers so as to extend the increase in retirement age for both the AuG and the DPP,” he had said.
Chuck pointed out that this was due mainly to the fact that the constitutionally established ceiling for the age of retirement for the AuG and the DPP is actually five years shorter in duration when compared to the upper limit set in the Pensions (Public Service) Act for a public officer in the civil service.
Opposition Leader Mark Golding had strongly objected to the constitutional amendment, stating that it was brought to the House without prior notice, without any consultation concerning provisions to do with the appointment or extension of tenure of the DPP and the auditor general.