An affront to employees of GRA
Permit me space in your letter column to report the very serious damage that was inflicted on the image and reputation of the Licence Revenue Department as a result of what transpired recently.
Last evening while viewing a television programme comprising a panel of two individuals, one of whom is a former Auditor General and the other someone by the name of Nadia Sagar, introduced by the host as an executive officer of the Guyana Chapter of Transparency International, I was surprised to learn that a driver’s license can be very easily arranged with the payment of a suitable inducement to presumably an officer of the Licence Revenue Department.
This, according to Ms. Sagar, was told to her by someone who it would appear gloated about using this nefarious route, because of the rampant corruption that has infested this agency, an arm of the Guyana Revenue Authority. This programme which has as its host a well known private sector executive and an achiever in his own rights, by his very presence, not to mention that of the former Auditor General, only served to lend credibility to such utterances.
It is noteworthy that neither of these gentlemen in the least sought to question the narrator of the statement as to whether the information was subject to any scrutiny before being put in the public domain.
I am extremely perturbed about the misuse and abusive manner in which persons today are using the electronic media, who are wont to make statements that are extremely damaging to the public image of public institutions, based on innuendoes and what passes for free speech in this country.
I am even more worried that as has become the norm, persons who hold themselves out as the paragon of virtue are the very ones who are guilty of committing the greater atrocity from their reckless, unfounded and unwarranted criticisms of others.
Were these individuals to come off their high horses and consider the serious repercussions that such unfounded anecdotal utterances are likely to have on the morale of those hard working, honest and dedicated officers of the agency, not to mention the agency itself and the country in general, then they certainly would want to ensure that these slanderous statements are put through the test of proper scrutiny that they deserve to have, before they are uttered.
It is ironic that these very self appointed protectors of our morals, these sanctimonious proponents, are the ones that are the least accountable to society for the public mischief that they create from making these reckless, unfounded and slanderous statements.
It is my intention to bring this outrage to the attention of the newly appointed chairperson of the Guyana Chapter of Transparency International (TI), Mr. Gino Persaud since it amazes me that one of the executive members of this prestigious body can draw conclusions and formulate opinions on the basis of hearsay evidence.
I trust that my planned action of addressing my concerns with the chairperson of the TI will be preempted and that the damage that has been inflicted on the image of the entity can be undone with some suitable words of consolation befitting of the injury inflicted.
Even if the perpetration of such a fraud could occur and thereby circumvent all the controls that currently exists, both within and without, the holder of such a fraudulent document, because of its importance, can have his or her liberty seriously compromised, if it were to be determined, as it ought to when a renewal has to occur or a random validation done, that the document was fraudulently obtained.
Of course there are other safeguards that are regularly engaged in between the agency and the Guyana Police Force, which for obvious reasons cannot be disclosed here, that prevent the use of such fraudulent documents.
It’s a pity that these so called champions of our public morals who think that everyone around them is a moron and an imbecile, do not make suggestions on how to prevent these situations from occurring when they spout their garbage.
It is instructive to note that this TV host a week ago castigated the Minister of Finance for the factual statements made that a reduction in the rate of VAT would not benefit the poorer classes of society. He used very strong words in criticizing the Minister’s statement, which according to him was “utter garbage”.
Finally, let me remind your readership that the GRA prides itself with having put measures in place to weed out corruption, and any law abiding citizen, whom I am sure the aforementioned three individuals are supposed to be, should first seek to test the veracity of their wanton claim before subjecting the entity to ridicule and being stigmatized in order to serve some narrow and selfish interest and or agenda.