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Opposition MP files information request for salaries of election inquiry commissioners

Last Updated on Monday, 19 September 2022, 17:31 by Denis Chabrol

Opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) parliamentarian Ganesh Mahipaul has asked Guyana’s Commissioner of Information (CoI), Retired Justice Charles Ramson to disclose how much money will be paid to the Commissioners of Inquiry into the 2020 general and regional elections.

“I write to you in your capacity as Commissioner of Information to provide me with the salaries and other benefits of the commissioners and resource personnel,” he said in a letter dated September 18, 2022 to Mr Ramson.

Those sworn in on January 13, 2022 for the Presidential CoI are Retired Justices Stanley John, Carl Singh and High Court Judge Godfrey P. Smith. The Commission’s work will be aided by Dr. Afari Gyan and Dr Nasim Zaidi and Guyana Defence Force Colonel Ronald Hercules.

Mr. Mahipaul noted that salaries and other benefits were not announced. He has also asked the Commissioner of Information to state the salaries and other benefits of other persons if they are attached to the CoI.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall has already side-stepped questions about the amount of money that would be spent on the CoI in the 2020 polls.

According to the Access to Information Act, the Commissioner of Information has 30 days within which to respond to the request and and advise the applicant if the request is approved or denied within sixty days from the date the request is received.  The Commissioner of Information can extend the period by another 60 days for approval or denial and inform the applicant of the reasons.

However, the law also states that if the Commissioner of Information fails to give access within the timel imit, he shall be deemed to have refused to give access.