No evidence of GECOM hiring based on ethnicity

─ Ethnic Relations Commission hands over report to media

DPI, Guyana, Monday, March 18, 2019

The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) announced that it has found no evidence of discrimination in the hiring practices of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). This was revealed today as the body officially handed over copies of its findings to the media.

Following the filing of a complaint by the three opposition members of GECOM regarding the employment practices of the Elections Commission and the hiring of the Deputy-Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne Myers, the investigation was conducted.

Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), Commissioner Norris Witter.

The enquiry was conducted by Ret’d Justice of Appeal Stanley Moore, Ret’d Deputy Commissioner of Police Lloyd Smith and Human Resources Consultant Jairam Petam. The representatives of the ERC were Major General Ret’d Norman McLean and Norris Witter

Witter said that there was no evidence presented by them to support the claims of the opposition commissioners. ‘The onus is on those who complain to provide evidence and no such evidence was presented,”

he noted that the employment of non-management employees is done by the Human Resource Manager, while the employment of management employees has a process where four commissioners take from the opposition and government sides will interview and pronounce on the eligibility of that persons.

Witter added that the ERC was unable to examine the records relating to the hiring of non-management employees because of the absence of the human resource manager.

During the ERC’s investigations, it was found that the three of the Opposition Commissioners voted in favour of re-hiring of Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Vishnu Persaud, while the three Government Commissioners supported Roxanne Myers.

During the hiring process, Persaud’s score was higher than that of Myers with most of his high scores coming from the opposition’s commissioners. However, despite Persaud’s score being higher, Myers was hired. It was further found that the four government commissioners did not support Persaud because of questions relating to character, credibility and integrity, Witter stressed.

Witter said that the ERC is satisfied with the quality of the investigations and has officially handed over the document was handed to the GECOM commissioners today.

Synieka Thorne.

Image: Jules Gibson.