The memory of the CARIFESTA payment fiasco has raised its ugly head once again. This time it is the members of the Guyana Police Force who are crying foul.
Controversy has erupted over the payment of ranks for work done during two major events- The President’s Cup Premier League Cricket, which was played over two days at the Providence Stadium in September, and GUYEXPO 2009.
Kaieteur News understands that the organisers of the two events are now balking over the payment amount, despite initially expressing their satisfaction of the work done by the police to make the events incident free and successful.
In the first instance, a Government Minister, who had sat with senior police officials to work out arrangements for security at the cricket festival, is now claiming that he is not satisfied with their work.
This was after he was presented with a security bill for $1M, a mere pittance to the sum the organisers raked in from the event.
During one night at the cricket festival, the police had the devil’s job of trying to control a crowd which was about 5000 more than the actual capacity of the Providence Stadium.
But maybe there was one mistake, and that was, senior police officials did not insist on payment up front as is the practice with special private events where the police are required to provide security.
Eventually, after a month of wrangling, a cheque for $500,000 was sent to the police, representing total payment for the ranks who performed duties at the Providence Stadium.
Kaieteur News understands that the amount is about $300,000 short of what should have been paid to the ranks who were on duty at the stadium for more than 13 hours on each of the two days. When a senior police officer questioned the short payment, he was told that there was some dissatisfaction with statements he made about the over-selling of tickets for the event and the problems it created.
There was to be a report on the conduct of the officer but to date that has not been submitted.
With respect to GUYEXPO, an event that lasted for six days, the police from the Georgetown Division had been working in close collaboration with the organisers, including Tourism and Trade Minister Maniram Prashad, and the Chief Executive Officer of the event.
According to a source, the Minister even commended the police for the work they did on each day and expressed his satisfaction about the large turnout of ranks.
This newspaper was informed that every day of the event there were no less than 110 ranks, including officers on duty at GUYEXPO 2009.
A total of 670 police ranks from A Division, Headquarters and the Police Training School performed security duties there.
The police submitted an invoice to the GUYEXPO Committee for payment in the sum of a little over $3M.
As the ranks waited for payment, there was what can be described as the usual runaround and much frustration.
Two weeks ago, the GUYEXPO committee wrote the Force’s Administration and attached a cheque for $1M.
In the letter, the committee claimed that no time during GUYEXPO was there 100 ranks on duty at the event.
The police were taken aback since during the event, the GUYEXPO organisers had expressed their satisfaction with the security arrangements.
When it is taken into account that 25 per cent of that money has to go to the Police Welfare Fund, there will be little left to pay the ranks who again worked for more than 13 hours to provide security.
Several ranks are claiming that they had to spend their own money for transportation to and from these events as well as purchase meals and there is no guarantee that they will be adequately compensated.
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