PM defends non-allocation of funds for Commissioner of Information

– explains former commissioner rendered office dysfunctional

– Govt re-examining issue of the Officer of the Commissioner

– emphasises the need for appointment of a person of integrity

DPI, Guyana, Monday, December 10, 2018

There was no allocation for the Commissioner of Information in the 2019 National Budget as the commissioner was dismissed for “rendering his office dysfunctional”.

This was the clarification was presented by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in response to a question posed by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Juan Edgehill during the first day of the consideration of budget estimates for 2019.

“He has rendered no report to this National Assembly, has provided no account of what he has done,” Prime Minister Nagamootoo told the National assembly on Monday afternoon.

The Prime Minister also disclosed that the Government and the former Commissioner of Information, Charles Ramson Senior, are engaged before the courts in a “series of litigations” for monies which the commissioner claims are owed to him.

It was however disclosed that issue of the office of the Commissioner of Information is being “re-examined.”

“We recognise that this a statutory office and the contractual employment of the last commissioner having been terminated, the Department of Governance and the Office of the Prime Minister will be looking at what measures to have the office resituated.”

The Prime Minister emphasised that it is necessary to assign someone who is fully qualified to function in the capacity of Commissioner of Information.

Anara Khan.

Image: Keno George.