It certainly is illegal for any two vehicles to have the same licence plate but the Guyana Defence Force is obviously an exception to the rule.
This newspaper has observed that five vehicles that are assigned to the Chief- of-Staff, Commodore Gary Best, bear the licence plate, DFB 1.
The official vehicle of the Chief of Staff carries a special licence number plate, an arrangement similar to that of a diplomat.
This newspaper understands that currently the office of the Chief-of- Staff has six vehicles designated to him. Two bear civilian plates and do the Chief of Staff’s personal and administrative errands.
The third is a Toyota Land Cruiser inherited from the previous Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier General Edward Collins.
This vehicle is only about five years old but according to reports, Commodore Best requested a new staff vehicle. The vehicle that was assigned to Collins still bears the licence plate DFB1.
A senior official at the Guyana Revenue Authority told this newspaper that every single vehicle is authorised to have one registration (licence) number since the information related to each registration is unique.
The official said that for the Chief of Staff to have two vehicles bearing the same licence plate is illegal and the situation should be rectified immediately.
According to the GRA official, the same situation applies to diplomats, such as the American ambassador.
“Should a new ambassador be appointed and should he or she require a new vehicle from the one that was used by the predecessor, the new vehicle will bear the number assigned to the serving ambassador and the discarded vehicle will be given another,” the GRA official told this newspaper.
In addition to the three vehicles mentioned, a fourth vehicle was procured for the chief of Staff’s office at a reported cost of in excess of $24M.
It did not end there; the office secured another vehicle at a significant price and still another vehicle, a double cab camouflage pick up for field uses was procured.
According to a senior GDF official who did not wish to be named, never in history of the GDF had any Chief-of-Staff possess such a fleet of vehicles for personal and staff use.
“I believe this is an act of misuse of state assets and funds. This type of lavish wanting and luxury in a professional organisation is unbecoming,” the officer told this newspaper.
“I now wish to formally ask the Office of the President and GRA respectively this question for the benefit and clarity of the public at large. Is the Chief of Staff entitled to an unlimited number of state-owned vehicles for his luxury and duties?” he added.
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