Jan 22, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – The amendments to the Power of Attorney and the Deeds Registry Act are on the parliamentary agenda for Monday when the National Assembly is slated to resume. This is according to Government Chief Whip and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira.
During a recent interview on the National Communications Network (NCN), Minister Teixeira stated that for the month of January, the National Assembly has the issue of discipline to deal with, in relation to the behaviour of some Opposition Member of Parliaments (MP) that occurred last month along with the tabling of three bills.
Those three bills are: the Power of Attorney Act, Deeds Registry Act and the Organ Transplant Bill.
Kaieteur News reported that the amendments to the Deeds Registry Act propose changes to include stiffer penalties to guard against fraud using a Power of Attorney.
“We have the Power of Attorney Bill, which has been on the agenda since December 13, and then you have the Deeds Registry Bill as well,” Teixeira said. She then highlighted that the amendments to the Acts will ensure that citizens do not abuse the Power of Attorney, as has been happening over the years.
Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, had promised to strengthen legislation to protect property owners from fraud. The amendments, in this regard, have already been completed and published in the Official Gazette.
Once passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by the President, the law will also allow for anyone who certifies or propounds any false statement or document, or who fraudulently with intent to deceive, conceals or withholds or perverts any fact or document pertaining to a power of attorney, commits an offence, can be fined $5 million and imprisoned for five years.
Fraudsters in recent years have been forging documents and selling the properties of others, unbeknownst to them. As a result, the government wants to make it harder to grant a Power of Attorney, a document that is often used in the transfer of properties.
The new law will require both parties to appear before a Notary Public either here, or overseas, and they will have to provide several types of identification information. The amendment will require the donor and the donee to each provide two photograph identification documents – identification card, valid passport or driver’s licence – that establish their identity.
The law would also now require certified and sealed or stamped copies of the photograph identification documents, and a separate witness statement where the donor executed the power outside of Guyana. These must be attached to the Power of Attorney and filed with the Deeds Registry. This would now be accepted as evidence in any suit, action or other proceeding, states the explanatory memorandum.
Moreover, Teixeira stated that the Human Tissue and Transplant Bill will also be dealt with this month in the National Assembly.
In fact she said that with the Human Tissue and Transplant Bill being passed into law, it will catapult Guyana into a new era of medicine. “We don’t have an organ donation culture and this will help to develop a culture first; where someone can go to the donor registry and register to donate their eye, heart or whatever it is when they die,” she further stated.
It should be noted that Guyana’s legislation on organ transplant, particularly from cadaveric or brain dead patients, has been in draft format for close to a decade, with no serious steps taken towards implementation.
Dr. Kishore Persaud, the Head of Department, Multi-Organ Transplant and Vascular Access Surgery at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), has been among the group of local medical professionals lobbying for implementation of the legislation, given the benefits which can be had given the increasing number of patients in need of urgent transplant surgeries.
The Attorney General’s Chambers last year stated that Guyana is currently bereft of legislation governing, authorising and regulating the donation of tissue and organs to persons who meet the criteria of either being a donor or recipient.
It was noted that in order to protect the citizens of Guyana from being victims of trafficking in human organs and tissue, the legislation will propose to address the prohibition of trade in human tissue, organs and blood and as a result will create offences and penalties to monitor such dire incidents.
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