Apr 19, 2018 News
-four cops under scrutiny
Call in an exorcist. Better yet, call in a whole team.
That’s because over 100 ‘ghosts’ appeared to have turned up, two Thursdays ago, to write the theoretical driver’s licence exams at the Felix Austin Police College.
At least, that may be one way of explaining how invigilators overseeing the exams collected 207 test papers at the end of the day, when only 106 individuals sat the test.
The real explanation is that despite measures introduced two years ago, there was massive fraud, apparently facilitated by some corrupt police ranks, who are now under scrutiny.
A release issued yesterday by the Force’s Public Relations Department stated that the Head of the Guyana Police Force’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is conducting an investigation into “seemingly massive irregularities” in the Guyana Police Force learner-drivers theoretical examination which took place on Thursday April 12, 2018 at the Felix Austin Police College, Georgetown.
“This investigation is as a result of a report made by the Guyana Police Force Chaplain to the Commissioner of Police (ag.) that at the conclusion of this examination, his colleague Pastors who invigilated the examination reported the following:-
One hundred and seventy four persons were registered to write the examination but 106 persons presented themselves on the day in question.
However, 207 scripts were received at the conclusion of the examination, and 155 of the 207 scripts were completed.”
According to the release, initial enquiries revealed that a Senior Subordinate Officer and three junior ranks were mandated to oversee the theoretical examination in collaboration with two pastors from the COPS and Faith Community Network partnership.
However, the Senior Subordinate Officer “left the examination venue shortly after the examination commenced and did not return.”
“Further…a Junior Subordinate Officer who ought not to have been at the examination venue, presented himself, spent some time and left.”
The release also stated that the three Constables left the examination venue prior to the counting of the examination scripts by members of the COPS and Faith Community Network after the conclusion of the examination.
“Only the members of the COPS and Faith community Network, the two pastors, were left in possession of the completed examination papers.
“These preliminary enquiries indicate a complete breach of the Standard Operating Procedures governing the Administration and Conduct of the Learner Driver’s Theoretical Examination.
“In the circumstances while the full and comprehensive investigation is awaited, the members of the public who sat the examination at the venue on the Thursday April 12, 2018, regrettably, but deemed absolutely necessary, will be informed of the date and time when they will have to re-sit that particular examination.
“The Guyana Police Force wishes to point out that over a number of years, the volunteer assistance and involvement of members of the COPS and Faith Community Network countrywide has been invaluable in the several areas in which they partner with the Force and the Administration of the Force wishes to encourage them as the partnership grows and develops.
According to the release, since the involvement of the members of the COPS Faith Community Network in the invigilation of the Learner Driver’s Theoretical and Practical examinations, there has been a significant reduction in the opportunities for corruption, complaint and allegations, “and this voluntary involvement will continue as we seek to ensuring the integrity of the processes.
“The completed investigation will be sent for legal advice.”
In September 2016, Commissioner of Police, (ag) David Ramnarine revealed that the police had introduced a new measure to tackle corruption in the learner/ driver theory and practical examinations.
He explained that in the wake of numerous complaints, the Force decided to have the Cops and Faith Community Network (CFCN) involved in the examination process for potential drivers.
“They (CFCN) were first involved in the theoretical examination (the invigilating and supervision of the examination).
“When that system was first introduced, there was some resistance at first, but then it settled down,” Ramnarine said.
He pointed out that before the CFCN got on board, there was a 70 and 80 percent pass rates from the theory examination.
After the CFCN got involved, that pass rate dropped to 45 and 50 percent, which justified the complaints the Force was receiving.
“It became a very real and encouraging sign. Now we moved it a stage further with the CFCN marking the exam paper under police supervision in a police environment, so persons who used to feel that they will have somebody go there and write the exam or someone to fix them up – all that is through the window,” the Commissioner (ag) had said.
Kaieteur News was told that persons are now buying their learner’s package, studying the booklets and attending classes.
Over the years, there have been reports of persons purchasing their Letter of Competence from corrupt police ranks, as opposed to buying their package and going through the right process.
A Letter of Competence is issued by the police when a person successfully completes the practical part of the driver’s examination.
Once issued, the letter is taken to the Guyana Revenue Authority where the person pays a fee and gets a driver’s licence.
It is said that a letter of competence can cost someone as much as $90,000.”
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