Ministers in Parliament undermine accountability – US report

first_imgThe report which was recently completed for review by USAID or the United States Government has found too that in Guyana’s politics and affairs, “the National Assembly itself does not play an effective oversight role.” The report also highlighted that there is now evident fractures in the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) government.The Tetra Tech ARD group contracted to prepare the report, found that since MPs are “answerable to their parties and not to voters, given the use of party lists for elections, MPs toe the party line.”The report pointed to the fact that in Guyana’s political system, Ministers of Government are also required to be MPs, “further reducing the separation of powers and undermining checks and balances…Thus, the Assembly is often referred to as a rubber stamp.”Pointing to the deep-seated political divisions that exists on the local landscape, the USAID report said, “an effective opposition veto of government legislation as well as the president’s non-assent to opposition-initiated legislation during the 2011–2014 Assembly created a political impasse that was not surmountable through negotiations and compromise, and which was what led to the early dissolution of the Assembly and elections in 2015.”The report has documented that now the coalition has a one-seat majority in the Assembly, the opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is claiming that the government is flouting parliamentary rules.It points to the introduction of legislation by Government and voting in the same session, making it impossible for the Opposition to review the bill and to have a meaningful debate.FracturesThe report did find that, “Broadly speaking, the 2015 election results suggest to many observers an opportunity for change… The APNU+AFC ran in the 2015 elections as a coalition, on a reform agenda that includes constitutional reform.”The USAID report cautions however, “The extent of the intended reforms varies depending on whom is asked; according to senior party officials, everything is on the table, including the electoral system and parliament.”It said the coalition is a multi-party, multi-ethnic group, which may signify another shift in Guyanese politics away from ethnicity towards more issue-based politics, “however, fractures in the coalition are evident.” … MPs forced to “toe the party line”, not answerable to votersThe presence of Ministers in the National Assembly can serve to undermine established checks and balances; Members of Parliament (MPs) are not answerable to the voters and must ‘tow the party line’.The blistering findings are contained in a report funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance in Guyana.last_img read more

‘I Will Not Prove You Wrong’

first_imgThe Minister of Health-designate to replace retiring Minister Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, has assured members of the Senate Committee on Health that if given the opportunity, he would help to reform the health care sector, take care of the needs of health care workers and improve access and delivery across the country.Grilled by members of the Health Committee chaired by Grand Kru County Senator, Dr. Peter Coleman, Minister of Health-designate George T. Werner informed the Senators that he has quite a complex, yet simple background.“I have a background of long history as an educator and a health worker and I have served as clinical therapist in the United States for many years. I also was admitted into the prestigious program for leadership for neuron-disability, helping and caring about pediatrics, and how to use health care management to attend to the needs of children who have health issues at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.”Mr. Werner informed the committee that twice, he taught at Mother Patern College of Health Sciences, first in Social Politics and later in Social Deviance in Technology.    “I bring to my work vast experience in education, in healthcare and public administration. These three are important issues we face in the health care sector. The Ministry of Health has the Chief Medical Officer that is primarily responsible for delivery on the medical services of the institution.”The outgoing Civil Service Agency Director General said what the Health Ministry needs and what he can give it “is proven experience in personnel management to resolve personnel issues.”Werner asserted that the country, through the Ministry of Health, is mobilizing vast resources for the post-Ebola healthcare sector, and that it will need an administrator to improve the systems that are there, “so that our development partners who are willing to give us their resources may give them to us and hasten the process to eradicate Ebola in the country; and at the same time improve the health care sector.”Prior to his appearance at the Capitol Building, Werner disclosed that he had been at the Ministry of Health where he held discussions relating to payroll issues, which he said were  solely based on his involvement with various grievances from health care workers.At the same time, he said was working with World Bank and development partners to figure out the issue of healthcare workers who died during the Ebola epidemic and their families, and what Government could do. “We have been working in that capacity; so I feel I am prepared to carry on this task.”As Director General for CSA, Werner said he had met and discussed with Deputy Minister and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bernice Dahn ways in which the health sector can be helped to move very quickly.He asserted that one of the thorny issues within the Ministry of Health is pay and equity pay. “I gave her a proposal that will be funded by our donor partners; to create one payroll for all healthcare workers, from specialized medicine to the sanitation personnel within the Ministry or within the hospital. To rationalize it—and we have to do so before the next budget year—we need one payroll administered by the CSA which authorizes the Ministry of Finance to pay.  Questioned as to whether he would try to reawaken his abandoned controversial plan of reforming the civil service sector of the government that would see tens of thousands of employees dismissed and/or made redundant, Mr. Werner clarified that on the contrary, the Ministry of Health will need about 30,000 people in the health sector.He said the country is expected to benefit from huge resources for the improvement of the health care sector, upgrading the capacity of workers both at home and abroad; while at the same time encouraging Liberian medical doctors and other trained medical practitioners to return home to help improve the sector.With all of the explanations, most members of the Committee were concerned about the qualification of Werner in the area of medicine.He was asked whether he did not see the need to advise the President that she needed to appoint somebody like the outgoing Minister (who was a medical doctor) for such an important professional job.The Chair of the Committee, Senator Coleman, who is himself a medical doctor, recalled that only twice had there been a Minister of Health that was not a practicing doctor. (There were actually four non-medical doctors who served as   Health Ministers—Mrs. Mai Padmore, President Tolbert’s first Minister of Health; Counselor Oliver Bright, the second, Estrada Bernard, the third; and under Head of State Samuel K. Doe, Martha Sendolo Belleh, a nurse, who succeeded Dr. Kate Bryant in the early 1980s.However, Werner maintained that with some basic knowledge in medicine, and the position being an administrative one, he felt prepared to carry on his next task successfully.His fate may be decided as early as this week by the Senate plenary.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Several Injured at Soul Fresh Concert

first_imgHipco rap group Soul Fresh’s One Million Fans concert ended in chaos when riot broke out leaving several people injured and damaging properties estimated to be worth over US10, 000.The incident, according to multiple sources, stated when rapper Chiller Coolnanee exceeded his ten minutes performance time, but was not in a hurry to leave the stage.Sources added that this attitude resulted into the show’s MCs switching off Chiller’s mic, which got the fans upset. It was also reported that Chiller Coolnanee remarked that “haters” did not want to see him perform, which also drove the angry crowd irate.Before that, our sources said DJ As a Boy’s attempt to remove Coolnanee from the stage incensed the fans more. After Chiller was finally removed from the stage, all hell broke loose as fans started throwing stones and bottles on stage.“It was like a war zone, people were running for their lives everywhere including the show host and other artists. People who were unlucky got hurt while others lost valuable belongings. Cars that were on the beach got damaged and a lot of crazy things happened,” sources explained the horror scene from the show.Meanwhile, Soul Fresh’s manager Edwin Tisdell has expressed regret for the way the show ended and is filing a law suit against all those who incited violence during the show.“I’m continuing with my law suit and my lawyer has all of that. I do not think I can risk my life or my family’s life anymore. I feel so sad for my own investment and resources into Liberian showbiz; and I’m totally perplexed by this continuing backwardness and mischief.“It takes lots of energy to convince a sponsor to support Liberian artists because they always feel that people will throw stones and sometimes act stupid. You have to convince them that this will not happen. So I don’t think I have the face to stand in front of Cellcom or Club Beer for sponsorship anymore,” Edwin said in an interview with LIB Life.The show took place on December 11 at Bernard Beach. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Revised Fishery Guidelines Won’t Ignore Public Concerns- LMA

first_imgThe Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), which is the new supervisory entity of the National Fishery Bureau (BNF), disclosed that the new fishery guidelines will not ignore the concerns of the public against President Sirleaf’s Executive Order issued in May.After the release of Executive Order 84 last month, some fishery stakeholders and environmentalists expressed concern about dangerous fishing practices, poor monitoring system and fishery laws affecting the industry. But recently the Liberia Maritime Authority’s communication director, Mulbah K. Yorgbor, Jr., told the Daily Observer that the concerns of the public have been considered in the revised fishery guidelines to relieve the technical and scientific challenges in the industry.Executive Order 84 grants the Maritime Authority full and complete supervisory oversight and fiscal authority of the Bureau of National Fishery and Liberia’s fishery resources pending the enactment of the National Fishery Act. LMA’s responsibilities include the publicizing of regulations, guidelines, fees and the granting of licenses.Also the Order reduced the 6 nautical miles Inshore Exclusive Zone (IEZ) established by the Fisheries Regulation of 2010 to three in order to attract investment and boost industry and semi-industry activities.“The new guidelines that will soon be released will look at the fishing gears used in the Liberian waters, fishing monitoring system and also the environmental aspect that the public is concerned about,” said Yorgbor.Responding to the issue of the fishery zone, Yorgbor said that Maritime and the Fishery Bureau will work to ensure a safe fishing environment for fishery parties using Liberian waters.“Our revised guidelines will create an environment where there will not be a shock competition among fishing vessels and artisanal canoes.“There will be areas of protection because we don’t want artisanal fishermen and trawlers battling over nets and other issues like the previous time.“We want to avoid vessels fishing in the same space at the same time by improving regulatory systems that will prevent such encounters. Moreover, we will employ inspectors on these vessels who will enforce industry vessels operating in their rightful space,” he said.Yorgbor disclosed that the LMA will meet with stakeholders, especially fishing communities before the revised guidelines expire.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chipman leads LBCC to fifth in row

first_imgMatt Clark hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead the Tigers past the Seahawks. SOFTBALL Cerritos 5, Santa Ana 0 The Falcons, just leading 1-0, scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to seal the Dons’ fate. Stephanie Lomeli had the big hit in the inning, a two-run single to left field. Jason Walker drove in the winning run with an RBI single. Riverside 4, L.A. Harbor 3 Starter Keith Chipman pitched all nine innings to lead Long Beach City College to a 6-5 victory over Irvine Valley in a nonconference baseball game Tuesday at Long Beach. The Vikings (6-9) trailed 5-0 after 4 1/2 innings, but they came up with a run in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh to win their fifth in a row. center_img Jessica Navarro pitched a complete game two-hitter to improve to 6-2. Navarro went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double in the four-run sixth. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Gor sign partnership with Agro Chemicals

first_imgIn return, the company which intends to reap from the vast and passionate K’Ogalo fan base will have their logo perched on the shoulder of Gor Mahia’s jersey.Chairman Ambrose Rachier has urged the fans to enjoy the gin and vodka ‘enthusiastically but responsibly’ to enable the club reap from the pact as they look to bridge a vast financial gap that has been widened by the exit of main sponsors SportPesa.Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier and CEO Lordvic Aduda sign the partnership with Agro Chemicals CEO Ashok Agrawal“I know we have many fans who can be patriotic. We had similar partnerships with some bread companies and our fans consumed the product well but the companies lacked capacity to supply. I know our fans will drink enthusiastically,” he said during the launch.Agro Chief Executive Officer Ashok Agrawal hopes the partnership will place their product at the very top of the spirit drinking chain.“Football is not new to us since we have in the past sponsored a team in the top league and second division. This time, however, we decided to go for a partnership we believe works for both the football team and the company. That is why we chose Gor Mahia,” he saidMeanwhile, the company has also injected a cash donation of Sh2mn to the club as they prepare for the return leg of their CAF Confederations Cup play-off tie against DR Congo side DC Motema Pembe.0Shares0000(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier exchanges signed partnership documents with Agro Chemicals CEO Ashok Agrawal. PHOTO/CourtesyNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia have had a reprieve over their hunt for a new shirt sponsor after they signed a three-year partnership with Kisumu based state-corporation Agro Chemicals and Food Company through their flagship spirit products Patriot Gin and Patriot Vodka.The deal, similar to a previous ‘Gor bread’ deal signed a few years ago will see the 18-time Kenyan champions earn Sh5 for every bottle of the two drinks sold in what is seen as a mutually beneficial deal to both entities.last_img read more

Fire guts Malibu Colony mansion

first_imgMALIBU – Fire heavily damaged an actress’ beachfront Malibu home today, killing two cats but injuring no one. The fire at 25330 Malibu Road was reported at 12:01 a.m. and put out at 12:29 a.m., according to Betty Parker, a county fire dispatcher. Firefighters reported flames shooting throught the roof, she said. The two-story home, with living quarters over a garage, is just west of the celebrity-thick Malibu Colony. Two people were displaced by the fire, and damage estimates were expected to exceed $1 million, according to camera crews at the scene. How the blaze started was not immediately known. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Actress Bara Byrnes, who has appeared in shows such as “NYPD Blue,” lived in the house, according to camera crews at the scene. last_img read more

Man Utd BOOST as Zidane claims: ‘I like Pogba but we’ve a large squad already’

first_img Paul Pogba: The 23-year-old has been linked with a return to Old Trafford Zinedine Zidane admits he is a big fan of compatriot Paul Pogba, but the Real Madrid boss cast doubt on a summer move when he insisted his own squad is ‘difficult to improve’.The France midfielder has been linked with a big-money move away from Juventus, with a return to former club Manchester United reported to be in the pipeline as Jose Mourinho looks to further bolster the team.The European champions, meanwhile, are also long-term admirers of the 23-year-old, who left Old Trafford in July 2012 after rejecting a new contract offer.Madrid are currently at a pre-season training camp in Canada ahead of the International Champions Cup game against Paris Saint-Germain, and Zidane wants everyone’s focus on the job in hand rather than who could yet come into the club over the closing weeks of the summer transfer window.“I am happy with the squad I have got and it’s difficult to improve on it,” Zidane acknowledged at a press conference.“Do I like Pogba? Of course, he’s a very good player and every club wants the best players, but right now he’s at Juve and we have a large squad already.“There are still lots of players yet to join up with the squad and with the Euros going on we couldn’t do anything.“We have three games coming up and that’s the focus at the moment.” 1last_img read more


first_imgMinister Bruton officially opened the North West Science Park extension at the CoLab in Letterkenny today.Forty start-up companies, over 140 graduate-level employees, and an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports businesses in the knowledge economy is a statement more synonymous with Dublin or Belfast Innovation Centres.However, this testimonial describes the newly completed EU INTERREG IVA funded North West Regional Science Park (NWRSP) extension to the CoLab at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.The Park was officially opened by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD to coincide with the publication of the North East/North West Action Plan for Jobs, targeting a 10-15% growth in employment across the region in the coming years. The NWRSP provides a flagship hub for all that is innovative, creative and knowledge based in the North West of Ireland. The newly extended CoLab comprises 45,000 square ft. incubation centre, and is an economic driver for regional development embedded in the heart of higher education in the North West.Situated at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology campus, the location provides a setting which enables all aspects of the NWRSP vision to be achieved, as it provides a well-educated, dynamic work-force, keen to create start-ups, explore possibilities and to become leaders of the future.When Minister Bruton last visited the Letterkenny Institute of Technology campus in May, 2014, the Minister spoke about supporting job-creation across all regions of Ireland, paying particular attention to the boost that the development of the North West Regional Science Park would have on this region.Eighteen months later, Minister Bruton today returned to the LYIT campus and added: “When I visited the LYIT campus 18 months ago I spoke about the importance of innovation in supporting jobs growth across the regions. Since then, 10,000 jobs have been added in the North East/North West region but we must do more if we are to deliver the living standards that we are targeting for people across the country. “That is why we are today launching a new jobs plan for the entire region, with innovation at its very heart. The official opening of the North West Regional Science Park will play a major role in supporting new innovation and R&D in companies and education institutions right across the region. My Department have made a direct financial contribution of just over €1m toward the construction costs of this project, thereby providing a permanent long term resource for start ups in the North West. I congratulate Paul and the entire team and wish them every success with this project”.Paul Hannigan, President, LYIT added that Letterkenny Institute of Technology has provided an employment pool for multi-national companies and SMEs in the North West for many years.“The launch of the North West Regional Science Park ignites a new energy for undergraduates and postgraduates of the Institute. The innovation centre is now employing over 100 graduates of the Institute, many of whom have created new start-ups and are on the cusp of innovation, with bright futures ahead. We are proud to be able to provide ‘the right people, at the right time’ and the opening of NWRSP is another welcomed step in the ‘right direction’ for the Institute.”The project has been achieved through a unique cross-border partnership involving Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) and LYIT, and is being led by the North West Cross Border Group, which comprises of the five councils of Derry, Donegal, Limavady, Strabane and Magherafelt.The NWRSP has been built upon the best practice and momentum of NISP and it seeks to extend the activities and assets of NISP into the North West Cross Border region. The main aim of NWRSP is to stimulate the establishment and development of high-quality technology and knowledge-based businesses in the North West of Ireland. Speaking on behalf of NISP, Dr Norman Apsley, OBE, said: “This project has been a pleasure to work on from the very beginning. With our excellent partners listed above and all their stakeholders, we celebrate the end of the first phase, getting our buildings up on time and to budget and filling them with quality tenants, full of potential for growth and jobs for the region. We do recognise, however, that the real job is only beginning now, creating a sustainable culture of knowledge based enterprise. To that end we welcome the interest in our work that has been shown by the schools and teachers of the region. Clearly, the basic ingredients are assembling and we look forward to making it happen.”The Chairman of NWRCBG, Councillor Paul Fleming, commended the partners who were involved in the delivery of the project. He also thanked SEUPB, the INTERREG programme management body, and the Governments of Ireland and Northern Ireland, without whose financial support and endorsement such true cross border projects could not be developed, and highlighted the importance of maintaining relationships and partnerships through on-going cross border collaboration.The project is funded by the European Union through the INTERREG IVA programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding for the project has also been provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland and the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland.Speaking on behalf of the SEUPB, Programme Manager Paul Boylan, said: “In receipt of £12 million worth of funding from the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme, the project was one of the largest to be supported during the last programming period. This high level of investment is reflective of the strength of the original project application and also the commitment of the European Union to developing a stronger entrepreneurial culture, on a cross-border basis. I am very impressed by what I see and I am encouraged to hear about the impact that the project will have in enhancing the R&D capacity of local businesses, right across the North West.” The opening of the NWRSP has now firmly positioned Letterkenny and the North West as a key destination for innovation, creativity and inward investment. If any business would like to learn more about availing space at the North West Regional Science Park please contact Patsy Donaghy, Co-Lab Manager, on 074 9186703 or patrick.donaghy@lyit.ieMINISTER OFFICIALY OPENS DONEGAL’S NORTH-WEST REGIONAL SCIENCE PARK was last modified: November 30th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgThe Donegal Volunteer Centre has offered to include it’s core group of 1,500 registered volunteers by inviting them to take the opportunity to participate in local events for the Donegal Gathering 2013.Speaking this week, John Curran, Manager of the centre said, “We are delighted to be able to assist and lend our support to The Donegal Gathering. Our unique service provides volunteers qualified to assist in every aspect of work The Gathering 2013 may require.” Caroline Jahn, Placement Officer for the Donegal Volunteer Centre added, “This is an exciting opportunity for Donegal and a fantastic initiative. The Donegal Volunteer Centre is focused on supporting volunteers and local groups by connecting people to opportunities to help support a vast array of community initiatives, and the mission of The Donegal Gathering is exactly the same.”In response to this magnificent gesture, Barney McLaughlin, County Co-ordinator, said,”We are thrilled to receive such support from our friends in the Donegal Volunteer Centre. The Gathering is about harnessing the energy of our people and demonstrating to ourselves and others exactly what we are capable of with a little community spirit and enthusiasm.“I ask every Donegal person, at home and abroad, to get behind The Gathering, and ensure that you don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to celebrate all that’s great about Donegal”.Meanwhile, TV3 and The Gathering are offering one viewer €5,000 towards flights to bring whoever you want, from wherever you want in the world to attend your Gathering in 2013. The Donegal Gathering is calling on individuals, families, clubs, communities to organise gatherings, big and small. All you have to do is fill in your details and, in 300 words or less, explain the idea you have for your gathering and who you’d choose to bring home from abroad to take part.For further information on the competition check out: www.donegalgathering.comwww.volunteerdonegal.ie DONEGAL VOLUNTEER CENTRE RALLIES THE TROOPS FOR DONEGAL GATHERING was last modified: November 21st, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more