Home Letters President is not compliant with Integrity Commission Act
I am shocked, maybe I should say appalled, and my jaw dropped when I read the Ministry of the Presidency’s release, dated May 22, 2019, that President David Granger is not compliant with the Integrity Commission Act and has not fulfilled his obligations in filing his declarations.
This is the height of hypocrisy and it is the clearest manifestation of duplicity. It is a betrayal of the promised transparency and accountability and it is yet the clearest revelation of how hollow and insincere he and his Administration have been, as it relates to keeping their word.
Mr President, please remember your word is your bond. Let your ‘yea’ be ‘yea’ and your ‘nay’ be ‘nay’.
Editor, to remind, it is this President who is now residing at Pearl, East Bank Demerara, in a newly built state-of-the-art, well-facilitated and equipped, mansion. He took up residence at this location after May 2015 when he took the oath of office. He should have already filed since June 2015 explaining to the Integrity Commission the source of the resources for such an undertaking, as well as declaring what his liabilities are. We are now in 2019 and he is still not compliant.
What Guyanese have seen in the past four years is the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change coalition Government: disbanding the Integrity Commission Secretariat; taking actions to evict the Integrity Commission from its home in a building adjacent to State House; taking possession of the records of those who dutifully filed since the passage of the Integrity Commission Act; non-support for the motion tabled in the National Assembly by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic for declarations to the Integrity Commission to be made public; and a lack of leadership in ensuring that coalition Government Ministers and other politically appointed public officials fulfil their statutory duty by filing their declarations with the Integrity Commission.
To be told today that the President “will file” is insulting to every law abiding citizen of this country.
Editor, it must also be noted that it was only after pressure from the parliamentary Opposition for the establishment of the Integrity Commission and parliamentary pressure, during the consideration of national budgets, that it was put in place.
In addition to the fact that President Granger has not complied with the law, the primary consideration in the minds of Guyanese is whether, when he does file, the declarations will accurately reflect his assets and liabilities. One also wonders, if this failure is a carryover from the days when President Granger sat in the National Assembly as Leader of the Opposition and did nothing to ensure his team also complied with the law.
Is President Granger aware that every gift that he receives, valued more than US$50, needs to be declared? Is he in possession of an itemised list of all gifts that he has received since assuming office as Head of State?
Maybe, a goodwill gesture to win the trust and regain the confidence of all Guyanese is for President Granger to not only file with the Integrity Commission, but to also make his declarations public.
Bishop Juan Edghill,