Jul 03, 2016 News
Chairman of the Governing Board of Directors for the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Rawle Lucas, last week defended a decision to hire an assistant and have her working away from the Authority’s offices.
Lucas, a columnist for Stabroek News, who was appointed as Chairman last year, was being questioned by media last week about the hiring of his administrative assistant, Joniece Alfred.
Alfred was hired effective October 1, 2015 but while she is being paid by GRA, her office is located at Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue. That is where Lucas reportedly has a personal office.
While there is nothing wrong with an Administrative Assistant being made available to the Chairman, which is a non-executive position, the services have always been provided by the offices of the Corporate Secretary.
In this case, Alfred is receiving around $200,000– what a qualified and experienced manager would receive.
Questioned about the reasons why he has an assistant paid for by GRA, being stationed at Critchlow, Lucas said that he does not discuss personal matters of staffers.
He admitted that “Ms. Alfred” works with him.
In fact, the Chairman made it clear that he could not trust anyone at GRA, not even to assist him with administrative work.
“…I want to ask you this question. if you were coming to an organization like GRA…one that has the reputation…would you have felt that you could rely exclusively on the staff from the GRA to help you…a new person entering the environment?”
Lucas said that he chose the person that he could rely on.
“I chose the person I can trust. I chose the person who trusted me. That is what I did.”
Since taking over last year, there have been a number of shakeups at GRA. Commissioner General, Khurshid Sattaur, was sent home..
Last week, the Human Resources head, Archana Joshi, and Customs chief, Jameel Baksh, were both sent home with Lucas citing unsatisfactory performance.
GRA is reportedly behind in its collection.
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