Jun 08, 2014 News
…Says “I am all for transparency and accountability”
By Gary Eleazar
Head of State, Donald Ramotar, has committed to upbraiding his Ministers when Cabinet meets on Tuesday over their inaccessibility in order to provide the public with answers to the many burning pending questions.
The President made the commitment following a press engagement held at State House to address a number of topical matters.
During the formal press conference, Ramotar was asked if he would be addressing the fact that several members of his Administration are inaccessible or in some cases refuse to provide answers.
One such example occurred this past week when Accountant General, Jawahar Persaud, bluntly told a reporter at this publication that he would not be speaking to Kaieteur News on any financial matters.
Attempts in recent times to make contact with Finance Minster, Dr Ashni Singh have been proving futile as he refuses to answer his telephone on numerous occasions.
Executive Director at the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, over the past year has proven to be notoriously elusive in providing timely answers on a range of matters under his purview.
Chief Government Engineer, Walter Willis has, on numerous occasions, declined to provide information regarding a number of projects being executed by the Government, saying that he has to first receive permission from Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn.
This scenario is repeated across a number of government agencies with the exception of a few such as Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and Bishop Juan Edghill.
When questioned on the issue yesterday, Ramotar said that he was unaware that the media has been encountering a problem with reaching public officials, adding that “I thought we had the reputation of being easily accessible…I am all for transparency and accountability.”
He did point out that on some occasions such as with the Georgetown Marriott Hotel, the withholding of information was as a result of the commercial arrangements in place, “but these issues have been answered”.
During his press briefing he was adamant that Ministers needs to keep more regular briefings to keep the public informed.
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