No submissions from APNU+AFC on Data Protection Bill – AG Nandlall
– As May 6 deadline for submissions approaches
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, has expressed his frustration with the APNU+AFC Coalition Opposition, which he said is constantly stymieing the government’s aggressive legislative agenda.
Speaking during his weekly programme ‘Issues in the News,’ Tuesday evening, the Attorney General relayed that the government’s Data Protection Bill was out for consultation since April 15, 2023.
He said not a single submission was received from the opposition on the bill, although the deadline is May 6, and three weeks have passed.
The Data Protection Bill 2023 is aimed at safeguarding the privacy and personal data of individuals, including their right to control the use of their personal information.
The proposed legislation is expected to bring Guyana in line with international best practices on data protection and privacy as well as regulate the implementation of the electronic identification cards (e-ID) system in Guyana.
“The bill is online, an email address is there to which submissions are to be sent and I check it regularly and as of this afternoon, we did not receive any submissions.
“The opposition in the Parliament who are paid by taxpayers’ monies have not yet read the bill…it’s their general approach; they don’t read anything; they piggyback upon criticisms made by civil society and they adopt [them] as their own. No original thought, no intellectual effort upon their part,”the Attorney General stated.
Minister Nandlall described the opposition’s actions as a gross dereliction of its duty and an abuse and misuse of public funds.
“They are paid a salary; they are granted all types of facilities to do the work of the people. I don’t want them to agree with the bill, but they have a role, unfortunately, to play,” hestated.
The AG noted that as Guyana experiences rapid development, it requires an aggressive legislative framework to support and advance economic, infrastructural, and social ventures.
“Many of these ventures cannot be accomplished unless we have a robust and legal and regulatory framework to govern the implementation and operationalisation of these projects. So, naturally to accompany our aggressive central government agenda is an aggressive legislative agenda, but our legislative agenda is constantly being slowed down and stymied because of our incompetent and inefficient opposition.”
Interested parties can access the draft Data Protection Bill on the Ministry of Legal Affairs website www.mola.gov.gy.
Submissions and recommendations are invited within 21 days from the date of the announcement via email at email@example.com.
Meanwhile, the AG reminded that it was the same opposition with its one-seat majority during the period 2014-2015, refused to support amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, which was needed for Guyana to meet its international obligations and resulted in the nation being blacklisted.
“They nearly caused a collapse of this economy. We are now in a good place and we have to pass these bills to meet the deadline for our mutual assessment for September. So, two bills are out there for public consultation,” he relayed.
The Attorney General’s Chambers is currently inviting submissions and recommendations from important stakeholders on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2023 and the Guyana Compliance Commission Bill 2023.