Employees fired at Lands and Surveys for corruption

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The Guyana Lands & Surveys Commission (GL&SC) has terminated the services of three employees over corrupt practices.

Human Resources Manager, Shonda Williams told a press conference Monday that there were cases where the employees entered into agreements with clients, collected payments and issued receipts in exchange for land.

“When those cases came to us as a Commission, we acted in relation to our policy. Those matters weren’t turned over to the Police because the clients did not want to pursue but as a Commission we took our action,” Williams told the media at the entity’s year-end press conference.

The incidents came to light following complaints from the clients that their lands are not being processed.

Williams said another Surveyor was fired for inflating bills to cover monies taken from the Commission to do surveys in other regions. This was revealed following an audit.

Human Resources Manager, Shonda Williams

Williams explained that once land is paid for, persons should receive a GL&SC receipt.

Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Trevor Benn urged clients to desist from paying staff members for any services.

“No one should be paying staff members for any service, they should not be speaking to them directly about any payment, they should not give them any money to pay on their behalf. We have a very transparent system,” Benn said.

He explained that the Commission has installed cameras at its cashier booth and began to digitize its systems to allow for real-time access to information.

In June, the GL&SC was confronted with an issue where sensitive maps and documents were leaked to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo. The maps are sold by the Commission but in this instance, no payments were received for them.

In fact, the Commission only learned about its leakage after they were used at a press conference to make allegations of land grabbing.

The matter was reported to the Police but Benn on Monday told reporters that so far, there has been no response from the Police.

Benn said while managers know who is culpable, there is a lack of sufficient evidence to effectively deal with the matter.

“We have people who cover their tracks and this is why we’re digitizing everything,” the CEO noted.

Meanwhile, Benn disclosed that the Commission suffered from several instances of cyber-attacks in 2019.

He explained that there have been several emails sent to his account with links to hack the system.

As such, each case was reported to the National Data Management Agency to have those persons blocked.

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