May 21, 2013 News
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) have denied reports that the mining agency will be moving to Regent Street.
In a press release yesterday, the agencies said that, “The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) wish to state categorically that the GGMC has not concluded any arrangements to rent any property on Regent Street or surrounding area.”
The release added, “The Commission is disappointed that a section of the media published such inaccuracies without first seeking clarification. The Commission would like to restate that the High Street Building is expected to meet the space requirement of the GGMC when completed. The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment is reviewing the matter of accommodation given the expanding mandate of the GGMC.”
Kaieteur News was reliably informed over the weekend that the GGMC has secured a location at Light and Regent Streets and that it is scheduled to move in the new week. The entity identified was the former Co op Complex. Members of the mining agency were furious when they learnt that they would have to incur a $1M rental expense since the move to Regent Street is necessary to aid with space congestion.
The move, they asserted, is as a result of the Natural Resources Ministry confiscating and occupying the GGMC’s recently constructed building at the Brickdam location. The additional structure, they said, would have immensely aided the overcrowding of the agency’s 300 plus staff. The Brickdam location, they further stated, is under greater strain now since additional field workers are being hired for increased service to interior locations.
GGMC staffers who made contact with Kaieteur News yesterday stated that contrary to the press release, the Commission allegedly played no part in the Natural Resources Ministry’s initiated statement. According to low level staffers, senior officials refused to sign the press statement since they are indeed moving to Regent Street; this they said, is unless the Minister prevents it.
The staffers however reiterated that GGMC is an independent agency under the constitution, and is mandated to only follow the policies of the Ministry. The decision to move does not need the consent of the Ministry, they urged. They in fact assumed that the Natural Resources Ministry was unaware of the decision to move; only being cognizant of the matter after Monday’s publication.
The staffers are however hoping that the move would follow through
since congestion has been a long standing issue at the main office. Earlier reports said that the Commission was seeking to add to its 125 existing field workers. The workers were at the time relieved following the completion of the three story new building at the GGMC Brickdam compound.
The Natural Resources Ministry has however taken over the GGMC edifice with only 25 workers being housed there. “The place is practically empty,” a staffer had told Kaieteur News.
GGMC is however taking on a $600M tab to complete a recently bought building at High and Princes Street Georgetown. The agency said they were ordered to make the purchase and they might be moving to that location next year. Again this was a move made to ease space congestion.
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