Strip Harmon’s powers, enforce code of conduct for Govt. officials – AFC

Strip Harmon’s powers, enforce code of conduct for Govt. officials – AFC

APRIL 11, 2016 | BY | (Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell)

The Alliance For Change (AFC) says that too many responsibilities have been placed in the hands of Minister of State, Joseph Harmon. The Party thinks that this is the root of many problems in the coalition government which it is a part of.

In a statement issued last evening, AFC revealed that key leaders met yesterday on a retreat which is part of an ongoing effort to review the party’s performance. At that forum, the politicians also discussed a number of issues of concern to the Party. The AFC also reviewed and considered internal matters with regard to the party’s operations and structure along with its role as part of the Coalition Government of Guyana.

“Among the matters discussed at the retreat was the issue of the appointment of a Ministerial Advisor on Business Development by the Minister of State and other revelations in the public domain.”  

The AFC said that it is of the opinion that the current difficulties which the government has encountered in the continuing revelations arising out of the appointment of the Advisor on Business Development “and the issues surrounding this, have their roots in the concentration of the powers of the office of the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency and the effective Head of Presidential Secretariat in a single person.”

AFC Chairman, Nigel Hughes

AFC Chairman, Nigel Hughes

AFC said that it thinks Guyana would be served best if these powers are divided.
“The responsibilities of each of the above portfolios are substantial and of critical importance to the smooth operations of the Government and would benefit from separate appointments,” it stated.
AFC said that it has mandated its leadership in Cabinet to have these issues raised and addressed “as a matter of national importance.”

Further, the AFC said that it is committed to responsible and transparent governance and looks forward to the conclusion of the Code of Conduct for government officials and the application of same.
“The Alliance For Change reiterates its commitment to the Coalition Government while recognizing that the principles of good governance, transparency and equal opportunity are fundamental to the success of the Coalition.”

Among those at yesterday’s retreat were Party Chairman, Nigel Hughes, Vice Chair, Moses Nagamootoo, General Secretary, David Patterson and Treasurer, Dominic Gaskin. Also present was Executive Member, Cathy Hughes and Noel Holder.  Kaieteur News understands that Raphael Trotman was unable to attend the meeting because he is out of the jurisdiction and Khemraj Ramjattan was unable to attend as he had to attend to an urgent personal matter.

The carefully worded statement comes in the wake of the growing scandal surrounding Minister of State, Joseph Harmon’s appointment of Brian Tiwari as advisor to the Minister of Business, Dominc Gaskin, and questions about his relationship with officials from the controversial Chinese logging company BaiShanLin.
Harmon had halted attempts by the Guyana Revenue Authority to seize some of BaiShanLin’s vehicles.

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  • ROOP KUMAR PERSAUD  On 04/11/2016 at 5:13 am

    Concentration of power in one individual is not only at the top level of the Coalition government.

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