GPSU challenges Mohandatt Goolsarran’s nomination to Public Service Commission

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President Irfaan Ali brought an end to months of criticism when he administered the Oath of Office to the six members of the Public Service Commission (PSC) last week.

But the government faces a new challenge over the appointment of Mohandatt Goolsarran to the PSC.

The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has signalled its intention to legally challenge the process through which Goolsarran was nominated, Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, revealed on Tuesday.

He expressed his disappointment at the challenge, noting that the government was happy to constitute this very important constitutional commission.

Two members of the PSC are to be appointed by the President on the nomination of the National Assembly after consulting with such bodies that appear to represent public officers.

Since 2001, the National Assembly consulted with the GPSU and the Public Service Senior Staff Association (PSSSA).

It was the PSSSA that nominated Goolsarran. Goolsarran is the Chairman of the National Accreditation Council, lecturer at the University of Guyana and a former Director of the National Centre of Educational Resources Development (NCERD).

Mohandatt Goolsarran receives his instrument of appointment from President Dr. Irfaan Ali

Nandlall said although the association is registered under the relevant laws of Guyana and has been sending nominees since 2002, this is the first time that the GPSU has questioned the qualification of the body to make nominations.

The AG noted, however, that about 10 years ago, the National Assembly was forced to pass a resolution to officially recognise the association as one to send nominees.

In challenging the legal authority and competence of the PSSSA, the GPSU pointed out that the association is not in receipt of certification from the Trade Union Recognition Board.

“After 20 years, the GPSU awakes from slumber and begins to challenge the qualification of this body to send nominees.

“In my view, this is a disguised attempt to sabotage the constitution, democracy and to sabotage the work of the government,” Nandlall said during his Tuesday night ‘Issues in the News’ Facebook broadcast.

Nandlall said there is no requirement for the association to be a certified trade union movement.

“It could be a friendly society, religious organisation, co-op society, limited liability company… the constitution says bodies, it didn’t say trade unions,” the Attorney General argued.

He said in plain words that this is nothing short of an attempt to subvert the work of the PSC.

The other Commissioners are: Janice Bowen, Leila Ramson, Maurice Gajadhar, Melcita Bovell and Manniram Prashad. They are appointed for a period of three years.

The PSC, a constitutional body, oversees the public service; it can appoint persons to public office and exercise disciplinary actions, including the removal of persons from office.

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