Last Updated on Friday, 7 August 2020, 16:53 by Denis Chabrol
A four-man team of financial and accounting specialists that was appointed to conduct a rapid assessment of 19 named government agencies is working free of cost.
“To help us do some of the assessments of how bad or how good things are in this country, we have established a rapid assessment team who are working pro bono (without charge),” said Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister Ms. Gail Teixeira in response to concerns raised by the opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) about whether the team was being paid and if they were hired through the established procurement process.
The four-man team comprises Christopher ‘Kit” Nascimento, Public Communications Consultant; Christopher Ram, Chartered Accountant and Attorney; Nigel Hinds, Certified Public Accountant; and Sasenarine Singh, Financial Analyst/ Consultant.
The assessment began on Wednesday and the agencies identified for the team to assess were: the Guyana Power and Light, the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), Guyana Gold Board (GGB), the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), the Lotto Fund, the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), the Guyana Oil Company (GuyOil), the Guyana National Shipping Corporation (GNSC), the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) and the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).
The team was also tasked with conducting a review of the operations, policies and programmes of the Department of Public Information (DPI), the National Communications Network Incorporated (NCN) and the Guyana National Newspaper Limited (Guyana Chronicle). Further, the team is expected to look into the functions of the Guyana Broadcasting Authority (GNBA).
Minister Teixeira said the rapid assessment aims to give the president in the shortest possible time, an assessment of these key agencies.
“One of the keys ones, of course, is NICIL where lots of state assets have been transferred and purchased in the period since the no-confidence motion and the five months while awaiting the results….This is not an audit… but this is just to give the president a quick overview of the state of these critical agencies in government,” she added.
The A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) labeled the team a “PPP witch hunt squad.” It said Wednesday in a statement that it “considers this development as a clear emerging pattern of conduct on the part of the PPP to target and persecute professionals in the public service. The announcement of this ominous Witch Hunt Squad comes on Day 3 of the fraudulent PPP regime being swooped into office and after reports of several officers of the Ministry of the Presidency being bullied and intimidated to resign.”
Earlier today, former President Mr. David Granger warned the Irfan Ali-led administration that it would have to bear full responsibility for virtually evicting former ministers from government quarters, locking out public servants threatening contracted workers with dismissal.