Sep 16, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Staff deficiency at the Guyana Elections Commission GECOM has essentially brought the work at the Commission to a standstill. Kaieteur News understands that among those vacancies that exist at GECOM is that for Chief Elections Officer (CEO), a Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), Chief Accountant, Legal Officer, Research Officer and Logistics Manager.
When contacted yesterday, People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) appointed GECOM Commissioner, Bibi Shadick, explained that the absence of such key personnel can see the operations of the Elections Commission “grinding to a halt.”
She explained that the Commission has been in discussion over the issue of filling the vacancies but the officer responsible for providing the information has been slow in responding to the requests of the commissioners.
“There are quite a few vacancies for senior positions. We have been demanding the detailed job description for the positions but the HR Manager has been slow in providing the information. It was only today (yesterday) at the statutory meeting that we were able to examine what they were looking for. We have now demanded the drafts for the advertisements of those vacancies, which should be made available by weekend,” Shadick said.
In the interim, Shadick emphasised that the lack of key managerial staffers such as the Chief Accountant can put GECOM in an embarrassing position.
“We have rent payments for buildings that GECOM occupies around the country, outstanding since January. We don’t know when the landlord will say time’s up for GECOM, they want their building. So filling of those posts has now become a priority. We have cheques that cannot be signed and the Ministry of Finance holding off on accounts because there is no accountant to do the transaction and pay GECOMS bills,” she added.
Added to this, Shadick noted that the Commission’s plans to host Local Government Elections later this year may not materialise.
“Personally, I don’t see that happening. Local Government Elections cannot be held if we don’t have any of the necessary personnel. We have no registration commissioner; no one to sign off on ID cards, there is no Chief Elections Officer do to the necessary preparations in time for an elections, at year end,” she said. Shadick’s comments follow a notice published by GECOM last week in which the Commission announced to the public that it has temporarily suspended the production of National Identification (ID) cards due to a vacancy for a Commissioner of National Registration.
The national ID card is used as a proof of identity, and citizenship in the conduct of business transactions, if such proof is required.
However, GECOM noted that the suspension of the production of ID cards will remain in force until a new National Registration Commissioner is appointed and a signature is obtained for use on the cards.
In the interim, the Commission apologised for the inconvenience caused, and requested the patience and understanding of the public as it works to resolve the issue in the shortest possible time.
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