Govt to set up special department to organise national events

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 June 2016, 19:30 by Denis Chabrol

The Government of Guyana is exploring the option of establishing a Department of National Events which is intended to chart a way for strengthening the management of national events, more specifically Mashramani activities and Independence celebrations.

This was revealed by President Granger on Thursday during his recording of this week’s edition of The Public Interest.
Quizzed on whether the Government is exploring the option of this department, the President responded in the affirmative, saying “Yes, we are looking at a department to deal with National Events and we have made progress in establishing that department.”

The decision to have this department comes just one month after Guyana’s Golden Jubilee celebrations which were organized by Minister within the Ministry of Education with responsibility for culture, Nicolette Henry.

Despite the fact that the Minister had deemed the celebrations a success, many criticisms were made regarding the planning and execution of the activities. In addition, several shortcomings in protocol and logistics were recorded, and these too, added to the list of criticisms.

One such logistical mishap was the seating arrangements at the flag-raising ceremony, which led to PPP leaving the event prematurely. Another criticism, which continues to resurface annually, is the mundane cultural displays at these events.

These shortcomings have resulted in discussion in social corners, and the general feeling is that there is need for better management of these events.

In light of this, the President was keen to note that the Government has learnt from the celebrations as they continue to make moves to strengthen management and coordination of these activities.  “We’ve learnt a lot of lessons from the Independence Anniversary celebrations. It is necessary to coordinate the activities of several agencies involved” he said.
The Head-of-State reasoned that the Government is looking at an agency which has the ability to coordinate over several ministries, or in other words a multi-agency department.

He explained that some ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Public Security, Education and the Ministry of Communities all must work in a cohesive way to ensure there is a successful execution of national events. And according to him, this can be achieved through the establishment of the multi-agency department.

However, he was not able to say when this department is likely to be established or persons identified to head it given that discussions about its establishment are still in its preliminary stages.