Guyana slipping on commitments to FATF – Teixeira

People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira on Wednesday expressed concern that the

Opposition Chief Whip  Gail Teixeira
Opposition Chief Whip
Gail Teixeira

Guyana Government may be slipping on its commitments to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in relation to implementing its Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.
“Guyana is slipping on its commitments to FATF as it has no Financial Intelligence Unit [FIU] Director or Deputy Director and no AML/CFT Authority in place. The FIU is headless and therefore many aspects of the AML/CFT Act cannot be put into operation and if it is, it will be in violation of the law,” she noted.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently urged the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration to “promptly” address the deficiencies in its AML/CFT framework to ensure full compliance with FATF recommendations.
In December, Attorney General Basil Williams stated that there were still a number of recommendations the country needed to fulfil before it could become fully compliant with FATF and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) requirements.
Currently, Government is in the process of employing a Director and Deputy Director for the FIU.
Teixeira, who is a member of a parliamentary committee in charge of overseeing this aspect, disclosed that a sizeable number of applications for the position have been received.
Thereafter, she said a sub-committee will be established to develop a score system to act as a guidline when reviewing the applications to determine which will appear on the shortlist for interviews.
Meanwhile, more amendments to the AML/CFT Bill are slated to be presented at the upcoming sitting of the National Assembly on May 4; however, Teixeira lamented that Government intends once again, to ramrod all three stages during that one sitting.
The PPP/C Chief Whip explained that she received a call from the Government Chief Whip Amna Ally who informed her of Government’s intention to present the amendments at the upcoming sitting.
“She asked if we will support the amendments to the AML/CFT Amendment Bill with all three stages at one sitting on May 4… and our answer was a resounding ‘no’,” Teixeira stated.
She explained that the amendments are large and complex, and therefore, it needs to be reviewed extensively, especially considering that the PPP/C will be entering the parliamentary chambers with no knowledge whatsoever on what to expect.
Teixeira further explained that these pieces of legislation need to be reviewed and discussed comprehensively to ensure it is consistent with each other and that there is no contradiction.