May 05, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, has responded to Opposition Member of Parliament and Shadow Home Affairs Minister, Geeta Chandan-Edmond’s questions concerning the newly established Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) – but has amended two of the questions.
A letter from the Clerk of the National Assembly that was seen by this publication noted that the Speaker, “In accordance with the Standing Order 20 (2) (a) has amended questions nos. 3 and 6 by deleting the word “qualifications.” The Speaker’s response came two weeks after the questions were tabled in Parliament.
Standing Order 20 (2) (a) of the National Assembly stipulates, “If the Speaker is of the opinion that any Question of which a Member has given notice to the Clerk or which a Member has sought permission to ask without notice, is an abuse of the right of questioning or infringes any of the provisions of this or any other Standing Order, he or she may direct: – (a) that it be printed or asked with such alterations as he or she may direct.”
Questions three and six respectively stated “Can the Hon. Minister state what additional costs, if any, are attached to the services rendered by the Director and Deputy Director of the Corporate Communications Unit? Also, can the Minister provide their qualifications, duties and responsibilities and state if other allowances and benefits are afforded to the Director and Deputy Director which are not included in their contracts?” and “Can the Hon. Minister indicate, other than the Director and Deputy Director if they are other civilians attached to this Unit? If yes, what are their qualifications, salaries and allowances? Further were these positions advertised and what criteria used in selecting these individuals?”
This publication had reported that the Director of the CCU is former Guyana Chronicle Editor-in-Chief, Mark Ramotar and his Deputy Director is broadcaster, Stan Gouveia. In the past, the GPF Public Relations (PR) Department was headed by serving members of the Force, who were trained in communications and public relations.
However, earlier this year the GPF announced the appointment of two civilians to run the Force’s PR Department. Those appointments are now being questioned by the Shadow Home Affairs Minister. The Shadow Minister is asking Minister Benn if the recently established CCU was created in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Force, which section was amended to allow the Unit to be created and under which authority was the Unit established. Another question queried, “Can the Hon. Minister state whether the roles of these new employees overlay those of police officers who have been trained and assigned to perform these tasks?”
According to the letter from the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Opposition MP’s questions, as amended, will be published on notice papers for distribution to the Members of Parliament.
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