For 2019, the Public Security Sector expended the bulk of its $35.6 billion budget on several infrastructural reform projects for the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Defence Force, the Fire Service and the Prison Service.
This is according to the annual fiscal outcome report released by the Ministry of Finance.
According to that report, $34.7 billion of the $35.6 billion budgeted for the security sector was expended to improve public safety and security across the country.
The document stipulated that $13.3 billion of the budgeted $13.8 billion for the Police Force was spent on crime prevention and reduction. The report outlined that the money was expended to continue reforms in of the Guyana Police Force.
Under several infrastructural projects, the report said that construction commenced on divisional headquarters at Mahdia, Anna Regina, Fort Wellington, Diamond and Mabaruma as well as repairs and refurbishment of 12 police stations.
According to the document, a new passport and immigration office was constructed in Region 10 and the Passport and Immigration Office in Berbice was operationalized thereby expanding services and ease of access for citizens.
The document specified further that the reforms included the formation and operationalization of several new units within the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) such as the Cyber Crime Unit (CCU), the Firearm Investigation Unit (FIU), the Missing Persons Unit (MPU) and the Cold Case Unit (CCU) as well as the creation of an Environmental Unit (EU) at the Police Headquarters.
Additionally, it stated that each regional division benefitted from the establishment of the Divisional Base Management Information System, which complemented the Electronic Data Management System (EDMS) and the Police Records Management Information System (PRMIS).
As it relates to the Guyana Prison Service (GPS), $1.4 billion of the $1.8 billion budgeted was expended as part of the transition from a penal to a correctional institution, and for training some 430 ranks.
The document pointed to expenditure on training over 1,050 inmates in the areas of numeracy and literacy, Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate mathematics, carpentry, joinery, electrical installation and culinary arts.
The report however did not specify exactly how much was spent on the inmates.
Among the major projects highlighted for the GPS the report underlined, was the commencement of the reconstruction of the New Amsterdam Prison. Kaieteur News understands that it is being built as part of efforts to alleviate the overcrowding and ensure that Guyana is compliant with the human rights standards for the treatment of its 2,090 inmates.
The End of Year Outcome 2019 also highlighted expenditure by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit spent $347 million. That was expended from the budgeted sum of $349.7 million.
The document noted that under the expenditure, the Unit was able to furnish and open a new building at its headquarters, acquire a vehicle to be used in long-range operations, and recruit additional staff members. The Unit also acquired additional equipment to boost its intelligence and operational capabilities.
The 2019 report stated that the Guyana Defence Force completed the construction of a dormitory at Timehri as part of the expenditure for the Public Security Sector.
According to the report, works were also advanced on the construction of a second dormitory, at Timehri, and drill halls, at Bartica and Mahdia; renovation of arms store at Seweyo; expansion of a building at the headquarters of the Civil Defence Commission; and the construction of a regional warehouse at Lethem.
The air, land and water fleets were also enhanced with the purchase of seven vehicles, four drones and four boats.
Additionally, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) expanded its fleet by two vehicles. As for the Guyana Fire Service, the report notes that a firefighting and rescue boat was commissioned in the third quarter of 2019.
Expansion of its firefighting and emergency fleet was also boosted with the acquisition of five new ambulances, two new and seven reconditioned water tenders, and a rescue and firefighting vehicle under the expenditure.
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