City Hall understaffed, no efforts made to remedy situation

By Ramona Luthi

Despite the many vacancies for various clerks and officers at the City Hall, no efforts are being made to fill the available positions, as was disclosed at the statutory meeting held on Monday.

It was pointed out by Councillors that there were vacancies for some 140 Constabulary Officers, a Deputy Medical Officer of Health, a Pharmacist, a Practical Nurse, and clerks.DSCN9384

“…only a third of the budgeted strength [of] this Administration department is actually at work. There is no Deputy Medical Officer of Health, no Pharmacist, there’s no clerk II or practical nurse,” one Councillor related.

After being questioned by the Councillors about the status of the advertisements for the various vacancies, the Deputy Town Clerk (ag) Sharron Harry relayed that the positions were not publicised. This response resulted in members of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) expressing their annoyance at the lack of professionalism by the administration.

However, no resolution was brought to the table on this matter.

In January of this year, the Chief Constable of the Mayor and City Council, Andrew Foo, described the Constabulary as “very weak”.

At the time, Foo told Guyana Times that the performance and challenges within the department would be explored.

According to him, the Constabulary which comprised 178 sworn officers and 65 auxiliary security guards, at the time, did not met the expectations of the department owing to “trials and limitations”, including the lack of human and other resources.

Foo had explained that the department needed trained persons to work with during its recruitment process, since there was competition with the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), both offering professional standards of training to their recruits.

He had stated that the City Constabulary was lacking in this area for quite a number of years, noting there was also an urgent need for uniformity of constables within the department.

However, this decision will be left to the administrative body of the Council.