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Commissioner of Information to come under scrutiny

Retired Justice Charles Ramson taking the oath of office as Commissioner of Information before then President, Donald Ramotar.

Retired Justice Charles Ramson taking the oath of office as Commissioner of Information before then President, Donald Ramotar.

Guyana’s Commissioner of Information, Charles Ramson Snr. is about to be called to account for his performance, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said Friday.

“I’m not aware that this office has done anything really so being pleased is very subjective. There is a law and the Commissioner of Information is bound by that law to carry out certain functions including receiving complaints and facilitating inquiries into these complaints,” he told a news conference at the headquarters of the Alliance For Change (AFC).

The Prime Minister said Retired Justice Ramson would be formally asked to say whether he has submitted the information for a report to be compiled and submitted to the National Assembly.

An estimated GYD$2 million is being spent monthly on the COI’s operations in accordance with the Access to Information.

Told that the Commissioner of Information has nothing to report because no one has been asking him for information, Nagamootoo insisted that it is Ramson’s duty to file a report to the House. “Well, there is a statutory requirement for a report to be lodged in the National Assembly and we would only know what are the difficulties being confronted by the Commissioner if the Commissioner were to submit those difficulties in writing and have them subjected to scrutiny by the National Assembly,” he said.

Ramson’s office is based at one of his privately-owned houses on East Street, Georgetown.  A former Attorney General, Ramson was sworn in as Guyana’s first Commissioner of Information in July, 2013.