Parliamentarians raise concerns about regional officials acting for long periods  


Members of Parliament (MPs) who sit on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have raised concerns with public officials who are made to act in positions for prolonged periods, in breach of the public sector rules.

The matter came up during a review of the Auditor General’s report on Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) for 2019 where it was noted that 25 vacancies existed at the time.

On Monday, Regional Executive Officer (REO) Susanah Saywack told the PAC that only five of those vacancies were filled. Several persons continue to act in some of the remaining 20 positions.

PAC Chairman Jermaine Figueira noted that this was in breach of the public sector rules which allow for a person to act temporarily in a position but not exceeding four months.

Saywack said the last time the positions were advertised were in 2019 and a reminder was sent out in 2021.

Among the positions for which persons have been acting for more than three years include: a Medical Superintendent, the Deputy REO, an Education Officer, a Systems Development Officer and an Environmental Health Officer.

While 15 of the 20 positions have persons acting, five of the positions including the District Development Office post have been entirely vacant since 2019.

It was noted that among the reasons for a delay in appointing persons to the position was the absence of the Public Service Commission, tasked with among other things the hiring and promotion of public servants.

PAC member and Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill asked that the matter be noted by Miguel Shaun Choo-Kang, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.

Choo-Kang was asked to forward the information to the PSC so that the situation could be normalised.

Before the issue was put to rest, PAC member and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira noted that since its reconstitution in July 2023, the PSC has managed to clear a huge backlog for promotions, confirmation, appointments and new hires.

The Minister said that persons fail to be appointed to positions they act in because they don’t have the required qualifications.

Teixeira agreed that the PSC should be asked to fill vacant posts where people have been acting.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.