Home Letters GFC Restructuring Committee highly unbalanced
On April 26, 2019, following repeated requests from the staff, the GFC Restructuring Committee finally met with staff and introduced the members of the Committee. Various articles have reported on the chaos that erupted following the meeting. However, as was suspected and the reason for withholding the information on the Committee makeup to the general public was that it was clearly an unbalanced Committee. The staff has noted this and during the engagement, questions were consistently asked as to why there was no HR or management specialist on the committee.
For general information, the members introduced or announced to staff comprise of at least four political figures from the Government APNU/AFC membership and three other members. To be specific, the convener is an adviser to Minister Trotman and an employee of the Ministry and an AFC executive member. There is also another adviser (female) working out of the Ministry who is also an AFC member, a third AFC member from the lower East Coast of Demerara comes as a Private Sector representative who has vested interest in forestry (this can be a conflict of interest) and is also a senior member of the AFC. All three of these persons were on the AFC list of candidates for the 2015 elections and possibility the 2018 Local Government Elections. Another member introduced is a senior political adviser of the Ministry of the Presidency and a member of the APNU. So here you have four out of seven who are political appointees. The fifth member, a former Director of Conservation International is perhaps the only specialist in environment and management. The sixth member is a GFC lawyer and in private practice and the seventh, and perhaps most junior, is a middle division management staff of GFC.
This imbalance did not escape the attention of staff and questions emerged as to the glaring absence of any HR and other specialist trained in these types of activities as part of the panel. No satisfactory answer was provided. The Minister, soon after in a sign of desperation, tried to justify the members of this Committee. However, this is a modern era and these missteps by the Minister will not go unnoticed.
Staff (name withheld)