APNU/AFC Government is functioning in secrecy

first_imgDear Editor,Act 21 of the 2011 Access to Information Act was approved by the National Assembly during the PPP/C Government. The basic objective of the Rights to Information Act is to empower citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Government, contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in real sense.It establishes, without saying, that informed Guyanese are better equipped to maintain the necessary vigil on the instruments of governance and demands a more accountable Government to the people. The Access to Information Act is to make citizens informed about activities of the Government also.This APNU/AFC coalition Government continues to strangle the rights of people from the access to information that would expose the corruption, dictatorial policies, racial discrimination etc.The Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Six is an elected second-level Government that represents the people, but continues to be disregarded when it requests information for projects, decisions and policies that are being executed and implemented by the APNU/AFC coalition Government. This dictatorial Government operates in Region Six without any respect or regard for this elected regional governance. Numerous projects that are being managed by central Ministries don’t even inform the RDC of project execution or give a copy of the contract documents because Ministries are scared of scrutiny that will unearth massive corruption.The East Bank Berbice Public Road Project is one of the biggest projects in the region that is being undertaken by the MOPI but they refused to make available the contract documents to the RDC. Likewise, the Indian Monument site at Palmyra, where billions of taxpayers’ monies are disappearing through the sale of materials etc. Berbician are still anxious to know what is the total cost of these projects.The RDC was informed through the REO that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority said that Cabinet made a decision to reallocate budgetary funds from the 2019 regional allocation without providing any information or evidence of the Cabinet’s decision. The RDC of Region Six is stunned because this can cause serious implications in transferring these funds to the NDIA without the approval of the RDC. The Fiscal Management and Accountability Act does not allow for the transferral of funds allocated for Drainage and Irrigation in the regional budget to be transferred to NDIA without the permission of the RDC.The NDIA is being used, evidently, as an arm of the PNC to satisfy their supporters. Excavators are being used to execute private jobs for PNC supporters in Region six because of political intervention by senior Government officials.Imagine that the REO of Region Five is shutting down an RDC meeting because of alleged usage of NDIA excavators to execute private work in Bath settlement, but when NDIA excavators are used by PNC activists in various areas it becomes legal. This issue was highlighted to the CEO, Flatts, but he refused to comment on the issue.Finally, the circus of “Bringing the Government to the people “, continued in Region Five a few days ago. Unfortunately, Government continued to disregard the most serious problem in Region Five, that is, where APNU/AFC councillors and the REO are purposely shutting down the functioning of the RDC, which can be considered the “voice of the residents” in that region. Disregarding this major issue of democracy in Region Five is an insult to David Granger who boasted about democracy in Guyana.What is happening in Region Six is a replica by this APNU/AFC coalition Government throughout Guyana. The RDC is demanding their constitutional rights for the access to information for all projects and policies that are implemented within.Regards,Zamal Hussainlast_img

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