How morally and ethically right could all of this be?

March 7, 2013 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear Editor,
The ubiquitous Winston Brassington is in the news again. At a Guyana Power and Light Inc. press conference, I saw him at the head table along with the CEO of GPL.
I am told that Mr. Brassington is the Chairman of the GPL board. This causes me to wonder how many other boards he sits on, bearing in mind that he is: (a) the head of the Privatisation Unit; (b) Executive director of NICIL; and (c) the Head of the Atlantic Hotels Inc.
Given his all-pervasiveness in the affairs of the State which require expertise in public sector financial management; public procurement and contract negotiation; investment analysis, engineering, and law, among others, I ask the following questions:
What is Mr. Brassington’s professional background?
Is he a certified public accountant? Does he have an advanced degree in any one of the above disciplines?
If the answers to these questions are no, then I ask three further questions: (1) What alternative criteria were used to assign him these important and responsible positions?
(2) Don’t we have other Guyanese who would have met these criteria? and (3) What is his compensation package for each of the positions that he holds?
On another related issue, I am aware that a number of senior government functionaries are enjoying United States dollar salaries that are tax-free and paid for from grant resources from an international funding agency. Others enjoy Guyana dollar salaries tax-free.
I am also told that some contracted employees of the State are treated as contractors and therefore income tax and National Insurance contributions are not deducted from their salaries. Isn’t this a violation of the Income Tax laws?
How morally and ethically right could all of this be, bearing in mind that the ordinary worker is made to pay his/her full share of taxes?
Anand Goolsarran

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