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PPPC warns of action against public officers who violate law

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday warned public officers that they would find themselves in trouble if they take illegal instructions from political bosses could not prove that they were forced to do so.

“If at any time, whether now or in the future, when the PPP resumes office in this country, we find- because we are going to review every single case that ay public officer has acted contrary to the law or has acted against individuals based on political directions, then those officers will face the consequences,” he said.

The PPPC says it is creating a database of all claims of public officers committing illegal or discriminatory actions.

He told a news conference that his People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) favours the enactment of whistleblower legislation that he believes could help protect public officers who give evidence against their bosses. The current A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) administration has already drafted whistleblower’s legislation.

Asked whether he was not worried that the PPPC could lose political support from among public servants at future general elections because they might fear that they could find themselves in trouble if his party regains power, Jagdeo said the PPPC would not be engaging in a witch-hunt. “We will support whistle-blower legislation. You are right that some public officers may be exposed to political directions and they are fearful that their jobs would be on the line if they don’t carry them out; you are absolutely right about that and so whistleblower legislation will basically protect those officers,” he said.

He recommended that public officers keep records of the dates and times, the nature of the instruction and keep copies of correspondence that they would have been given illegal instructions by politicians. “We will understand that they were pressured by the political leadership into committing illegal acts,” he said.

Jagdeo, a former President, assured that those public officers who act professionally have nothing to fear.  “Every act where we have a complaint will be investigated,” he said.

He cited the numerous raids of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), a legal arm of the Guyana Police Force, that falls under the Ministry of the Presidency.