Mar 05, 2021 News
– as current Ethnic Relations Commission to expire next month
Kaieteur News – Commissioner, Haji Roshan Khan, has recommended a proper vetting system and induction training for the new set of Commissioners that will be installed after the current Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) expires next month.
Notably, Khan has recently been very vocal about the Commission and alleged malpractices within its operations. As a result of Khan’s public disclosures and condemnations, Kaieteur News would have reported on several occurrences within the ERC, which included the excessive granting of Christmas bonuses, other instances of unjust spending/malpractices with public funds, disunity, and its failure to adequately step up during the harrowing five-month election controversy last year.
It was reported that the Commission received $900M in budgetary allocations in seven years with minute accountability for the public funds, which it was provided. Commissioners sought to grant themselves a $150,000 Christmas bonus and $100,000 for ERC staff, which went against the government’s advisory of $25,000 per person as a bonus in statutory bodies. This was all despite being more than well compensated and earning exceptionally high remuneration for “part-time work.”
Late last month as Khan lamented the aforementioned, he stressed the need for an adequate vetting process and induction training for the new ERC Commissioners to prevent any reoccurrences.
It must be noted that the current Commission was reconstituted on February 22, 2018, by the former coalition government after a seven-year hiatus and saw the swearing in of 10 new commissioners by ex-President, David Granger.
Khan had said that when the Commissioners were sworn in, they were just left to find their way as they were left with “all this money,” hence, the professional induction training is pertinent according to Commissioner Khan. “I would also like to respectfully add that in the future, commissioners should not be sworn in and left to drown in the ocean, but should attend three days of preparatory training,” Khan had suggested, adding that he proposed it as a Commissioner of the ERC.
He had also said “…I completely agree with the Chairman: when selecting individuals as Commissioners, the public should not place wolves in sheep’s clothing. They should not be able to occupy roles and be appointed to senior positions so as to be politically and/or ethnically controlled by their handlers and those who wanted them in those positions, as we have seen in the past leadership of the ERC as it is today.”
With the expiration of the current ERC set for April 2, 2021, a new commission will require reconstitution by the Parliament and Khan is appealing to them for the one-week induction training and proper vetting.
He added that the training team could comprise persons from the Attorney General Chambers, professional human resources specialists, a retired judge or a retired Chancellor.
The Commissioner also stressed the need to select persons that are not technically barred and are not constituent based, meaning that they will show national interest rather than prioritize those in their particular ethnic groups or religious bodies.
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