Teixeira says no attempt to usurp authority of Parliament
Minister of the newly formed Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira on Tuesday said she will not accept any accusation that her new portfolio in the PPP Government intends to take over the authority of the Parliament Office.
The Minister was at the time responding to questions posed by Opposition Member of Parliament Ganesh Mahipaul during the consideration of the 2020 budget estimates of expenditure where funds were allocated for the establishment of the new Ministry.
Mahipaul was at the time questioning a $1 million allocation for the purchase of equipment and furniture when he proceeded to seek clarity on whether the Ministry would be usurping the authority of the Parliament.
“I think it is a great stretch of the imagination to try to undermine the independence of the Parliament Office,” Teixeira responded.
She explained that her ministry will deal with government business on Parliamentary matters along with holding consultations on the preparations for new bills.
“We are trying to uphold Article 13 of the Constitution…law-making doesn’t happen here [in the National Assembly] only. I will not accept any accusation that I’m trying to take over the authority of Parliament,” she added.
Mahipaul further asked whether the Office of Parliamentary Opposition will have access to the Teixeira’s office to which she said it’s not a problem for the Government.
“If you need assistance that is within our competence then we will but if you protest and bruk up the place, I wouldn’t help yall at all,” Teixeira affirmed.
According to the official gazette, the new Ministry will have responsibility for, among other things, the National Assembly, electoral reform, constitutional reform, international conventions on human rights and corruption, and the Integrity Commission.
Some seven contracted employees have already been seconded for other Ministries to work along with Teixeira and a building for the Ministry has been identified.
That building happens to be the residence of former Minister Rupert Roopnarine and more recently the COVID – 19 Secretariat under the APNU+AFC government.
The Minister, in defending the funding in the budget for the new Ministry, said there are several repairs to be done to the building and furnishing to be bought before the staff can move from the room they currently occupy at the Office of the President.