Jagdeo, Hoyte, urge expediting of work
Sahadeo, Sinclair to recommend how public service head would be named

Stabroek News
May 16, 2001

President Bharrat Jagdeo and PNC/R leader, Desmond Hoyte yesterday took their dialogue to a different level when they jointly addressed six committees looking at governance issues and urged them to expedite their work.

The six committees were agreed on by the two leaders in an ongoing series of meetings and their members were yesterday assembled in the Cabinet Office of the Office of the President where the charge was delivered to them.

The media was not permitted to cover the session but sources say Jagdeo and Hoyte stressed the importance of the work of the six committees.

The members were also given the terms of reference of their committees as well as informed of the co-chairs and the resource personnel from the ministries providing them with logistical and other support.

The co-chairs and resource persons for the committees are: Local Government - Minister Clinton Collymore and Vincent Alexander with Roshan Ally from the Ministry of Local Government as the resource person; Border and National Security Issues - Ralph Ramkarran and David Granger with Rosemary Cadogan of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the resource person; National Policy on Land and House Lot Distribution - Minister Shaik Baksh and Stanley Ming with Myrna Pitt of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) and IDB Consultant, Andrew Bishop, as the resource persons; Bauxite Resuscitation - Robeson Benn and Dr Clive Thomas with Julian Archer of BIDCO as the resource person; Distressed Communities Needs - Philip Allsopp and Philomena Sahoye-Shury with Mohamed Ali of the Ministry of Finance as the resource person; and Radio Monopoly and Non Partisan Boards - Minister Gail Teixeira and Deryck Bernard with presidential adviser, Kellawan Lall as the resource person.

The two leaders also urged the committees to complete their work as early as possible. All of the committees are scheduled to meet today with the exception of the National Policy on Land and House Lot Distribution. That committee's meeting is dependent on the availability of a number of documents from the Ministry of Housing and the CHPA.

Jagdeo in urging the committees to complete their work as expeditiously as possible advised that should any disagreement arise it should be referred to himself and Hoyte through Parliamentary Affairs Minister Reepu Daman Persaud and PNC/R General Secretary Robert Corbin so that they could resolve it at that level. Persaud and Corbin were appointed by the leaders as their representatives for the appointment of committee members and related matters.

The terms of reference for the various committees are as follows:
1.Generally, to ensure the conclusion of the constitutional reform process and give effect to the new constitutional provisions regarding local democracy.
2.Specifically, to monitor and guide the drafting, passing and
implementation of legislation to give greater autonomy to local government bodies including:
i. The establishment of the local government commission
ii. The formulation and implementation of objective criteria for the purpose of the allocation of resources to, and the garnering of resources by local democratic organs.
3.To recommend measures for continuous education programmes on the new local government system.
4.To recommend to the Local Government Commission mechanisms to
monitor the work and functions of all established local government institutions and bodies
1.To prepare and present proposals for a bipartisan approach to Border and National Security issues.
2.To review the status of Guyana's border and maritime problems and to advise on appropriate approaches to their solution including short and long term measures.
3. To make recommendations on the preparation of a National Defence Strategy including a review of the draft National Security Strategy Document.
4.To examine the present capital needs of the Guyana Defence Force and present proposals to the Defence Board for consideration.
1.Generally, to review and agree on a national policy for the distribution of land and house lots having regard to the need for transparency and equity.
2.To review the present system of allocation and distribution and make recommendations for improvement if necessary.
3.To monitor the system of allocation and distribution of land and house lots to ensure that the policy is being implemented.
1.To examine the present state of the bauxite industry, including the bauxite communities, in Guyana (within the context of the past, present and probable future position of the industry and the options for whatever resuscitation may be necessary and to make recommendations designed to ensure the optimal sustainable viability of the industry, including its contribution to the well-being of the Guyanese people, within the shortest possible time.
2.To give priority to the proposal by Alcoa with respect to the Berbice bauxite operations.
3.To submit a final report in that regard within one month.
1.To undertake a needs assessment survey in identified depressed
communities throughout Guyana through visits, community outreach
meetings and consultations with community leaders, Neighbourhood
Democratic Councils, Regional Democratic Councils, community
organisations and residents.
2.Based on the above survey in these communities to prepare a list of projects for priority action in the public sector infrastructure programme.
3.These projects may include the following areas: roads, dams, water supply, drainage and irrigation, social services, health, environmental and educational facilities and youth and women projects.
4.To determine ways and means for maximising the involvement of the communities in the conceptualisation and execution of these projects.
5.Based on the above recommendations for the identified communities, to prepare a phased plan for implementation, with initial budgetary estimates.
6.Make recommendations for areas in which incremental foreign aid
may be appropriately sought and applied towards these projects.
7.To monitor the execution of projects and maintain close liaison with the Regional Administration during the implementation period.
The committee felt that the agreement between President Jagdeo and Hoyte is sufficiently self-explanatory to allow the Committee to carry out its mandate.

The agreement according to the joint statement issued last month by them said "We agreed to set up a committee to examine the issue of government monopoly of radio and the question of non-partisan Boards of Directors for the state-owned media and the NFMU (National Frequency Management Unit). The enacting of Broadcast Legislation for the responsible use of the media will also be examined by this committee. This committee will report within six weeks."

Announced too yesterday by President Jagdeo and Hoyte were the appointment of former Public Service Commission chairman, Harold Sahadeo and former Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Ministry, Joyce Sinclair, to recommend how the Head of the Public Service would be appointed.

Earlier the two leaders agreed to the appointment of the Head of the Public Service separate and distinct from the political post of Head of the Presidential Secretariat, which is the post occupied by Dr Roger Luncheon.

Jagdeo and Hoyte have met for dialogue five times since April 24 and have announced a series of agreements. The talks came in the wake of the tension and unrest generated by the March 19 elections and have been widely welcomed.