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New ministries now legal entities

Finance Minister Winston Jordan

Government has  made good on its promise to gazette their new ministries in time to see the end of the three days proposed for scrutiny of the 2015 Budget estimates.

That was one of the issues that caused a major stir in the House on Monday and caused a more than five hour delay in the start of the day’s proceedings.

Because the ministries were not gazetted, they were technically non-existent. The opposition thus asked the question as to how financial scrutiny could be given to agencies that did not exist. After the matter was brought to the attention of the Speaker by way of letter from former Attorney General and opposition member, Anil Nandlall, a meeting was held with the two sides where the government acknowledged the oversight and undertook to fix it.

A decision was also taken for discussions to be had on the estimates for the agencies, but a vote on the passage of the allocations would be taken at a later time.

When Demerara Waves spoke with Finance Minister Winston Jordan, Tuesday August 25, he said that the new government agencies had been gazetted. An Order was circulated in the House made under the Fiscal and Management and Accountability Act (Cap.73:02).

The Order issued an amendment by the addition of nine ministries. These are the Ministry of the Presidency formerly Office of the President, Ministry of Communities formerly Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs formerly the Amerindian Affairs Ministry, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure formerly the Ministry Public Works, the Ministry of Social Protection formerly the Ministry of Labour, Human and Social Services.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is now the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Public Health was the Ministry of Health, while the Ministry of Tourism now takes up its independent office and the Ministry of Business is a new creation.