Latest update May 28th, 2023 12:59 AM
Mar 31, 2023 News
…said to have resolved hundreds of issues
Kaieteur News – President Irfaan Ali on Thursday lead a government outreach to Region Three labelled ‘Office of the President (OP) Direct’. The outreach was held at the Leonora Track and Field Stadium.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), hundreds of issues including land titling, public assistance, job opportunities, pension payments, and education were addressed. Some 600 cases were said to be addressed during the morning session of the outreach.
‘OP Direct’, a people-focused initiative of President, Irfaan Ali, aims at having representatives of the Office of the President, as well as other government ministries and agencies, work in different regions two days per month.
President Ali speaking to the media just around noon, noted that due to the implementation of technology on government’s part, the cases were being resolved in a timely manner.
“In this system, from the time you enter, you’re able to be assigned to the different agencies. We (government) are able to track what the agency is doing and how the matter is being resolved. If it requires a higher-level intervention, we can extract that from the system. So, it’s a very efficient system, which is allowing us to move rapidly,” the president explained.
He said that the new system is in keeping with OP’s mandate to reduce bureaucracy in bringing the government to the people, and allowing them to experience governance in a comfortable environment.
“This is key. Sometimes people are not comfortable in an environment going into the bank and seeing people in a suit and tie. But in an environment like this, they’re more comfortable in handling matters, and also dealing with the structural problems that we have that they’re trying to change every single day. That is why moving our government system more to an electronic form, where technology is used, like I’ve just demonstrated, is what we have to get to, and getting people to move with single documents, instead of… big files. All of this is important,” the President emphasised.
President Ali pointed out that the electronic system is convenient as well as sensible, as it reduces the chance of persons misplacing crucial documents in transit, and creates an avenue for documents to be stored and accessed easily by those who need them.
“So, some people came, for example, with a health file…. They’re moving with their entire health record, and it could get lost… When you have a patient management information system, all of that can change.”
Asked about pertinent issues being faced by Region Three residents, Dr Ali noted that land and housing were among residents’ most pressing concerns.
“Everyone wants to be part of the housing programme… We’re now processing from around 2017 to 2020. Now, you have to remember that the housing programme was dead for five years. So, we had a big backlog, and then you have a lot of new applicants. So that is a high demand area,” he said.
Meanwhile, through the President’s intervention over 30 residents of Tuschen, Region Three, who have been struggling to get transports for lands they have been leasing for the past 30 years received much needed assistance.
The president met with some of the residents and assured them that the issue will be addressed by the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission (GLSC) within a month.
One of the residents, Gnarine Ramnaught, shared his story with the Department of Public Information. He said that he had been living in Block 20 Tuschen for over three decades.
Despite being granted a lease through the GLSC, the lease had expired, and he was unsuccessful in his attempts to have it renewed.
The lots leased by the residents are solely residential and situated along the Tuschen public road. This area is part of the old Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Scheme.
According to Ramnaught, he was paying $325 per year for 25 years as part of the lease agreement. “The land is government land and the government made a decision to give transport. The president said within a month,” he said.
The outreach provided residents with a direct opportunity to interact with the President on issues affecting them and their communities. Among the issues raised were housing and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) concerns, as well as community infrastructure.
The activity was first launched in New Amsterdam, Region six, where hundreds of residents had their concerns addressed.
Several ministers of government, including Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, and Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, attended the event.
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