‘We must strike a blow against corruption’  

Attorney General tells Region Seven

DPI, Guyana, Friday July 6, 2018

Efforts to combat anti-corruption are advancing through the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs’ Anti-Corruption Sensitisation Seminars.

The series of discussions continued today at the conference room of the Palm Springs Hotel in Region Seven (Potaro Siparuni).

Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Basil Williams SC in his opening remarks said the issue of corruption continues to impact development as funds could instead be directed towards developmental projects.

“We must be able to strike a blow against corruption. If you believe that our efforts in this area are going unnoticed by the international community that is not so. Since we started the anti-corruption programme other countries are following suit,” he explained.

The issue of anti-corruption is receiving more attention and is now tied with Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorism Finance initiatives. Williams noted that efforts to combat anti-corruption will be accelerated as international funding is provided for such work.

The seminar saw five presentations providing overviews of the State Assets Recovery Act, Protected Disclosures (Whistleblower) Act, the State Assets Recovery Unit, the Witness Protection Act and the criminalisation of corrupt practices.

Giving an overview of the State Asset Recovery Act 2017, Ananda Dhurjon, Legislative Drafting Consultant, said the purpose of the legislation is to remove corrupt and wrongful use of state property, preserve state assets and to recover those stolen.

Dhurjon defined ‘State Assets’ as property belonging to the state, such as the property of a local government authority, statutory body or a public authority.

The proceedings to recover state property is done through civil proceedings in the High Court. “The cornerstone of our State Assets Recovery Act is fairness. No innocent person will suffer any loss and the Act is designed to stem the scourge of corruption.”

The seminar was welcomed by Regional Chairman of Region Seven, Gordon Bradford, Regional Executive Officer, Roderick Edinburgh, Mayor, Bartica, Gifford Marshall and residents of Region Seven.

To date anti-corruption sensitisation seminars have been held in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Ten. It will continue in the remaining administrative regions across Guyana.

By: Ranetta LaFleur.