Scores of NIS, housing issues resolved in Reg. 3 as Ali champions efficiency over burdensome procedures
By Kurt Campbell
Leveraging technology in his fight against bureaucratic systems that have stalled the resolution of hundreds of issues at the regional level, President Dr Irfaan Ali kicked off a two-day outreach in Region Three (Essequibo Islands–West Demerara) on Thursday.
Off to a prompt 08:00 hrs start, Dr. Ali said well over 500 cases were addressed by noon and he expects that hundreds more will be resolved by the end of the outreach which goes until 19:00hrs on Thursday and recommences on Friday at the Leonora Track and Field Centre on the West Coast of Demerara.
Assisted by several Cabinet members, Dr. Ali spent the morning meeting with residents and groups in closed sessions and reported that, like other regions, most issues were about housing, the National Insurance Scheme, and local governance.
And to tackle this, the President’s office is using technology on these outreaches to track the progress and conduct follow-ups and referrals.
“Every person is given a case file and number and you can see in real-time how many issues are being addressed and at what stage of resolution they are at.
“Some are not actionable and those are mostly personal matters.
“In this system, we assign issues to different agencies and track what that agency is doing and how the matter is being resolved,” Dr. Ali said.
He reminded that the core commitment is to take the Office of the President to every single region and already an outreach was held in Region Six.
Dr. Ali said 2, 000 cases were open during the one-day event, 70 per cent of which are already resolved.
“It’s a very efficient system and we are moving rapidly.
“We want to remove bureaucracy and bring government to the people and ensure that they experience it in their environment,” the Head of State told reporters.
To make his point, Dr. Ali said in Region Three alone there are roughly 80 leases ready to be uplifted but persons have been unable to do so. Those leases will be distributed over the next two days.
The NIS issues continue to be addressed with 20 outreaches in the last year and some 6, 000 cases resolved, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh reported.
Along with Dr. Singh, the President was joined by other ministers including the Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharamlall, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr.
“Sometimes people are not comfortable going into an office and seeing people in suit and tie but in environments like this, people are comfortable,” Dr. Ali said while committing to addressing the structural issues that have led to this peculiar situation.