Security Sector Budget 2023: GPF to spend $2.1B on electronic identification system

– construction of Brickdam Police Station, N/A Prison to commence
– more firefighting equipment to enhance GFS capabilities, more than 148 fire hydrants for installation

A whopping $58.6 billion was budgeted to strengthen the security sector, which will help to maintain law and order and ultimately a peaceful and prosperous Guyana.
This was announced by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh during his budget presentation on Monday last while adding that billions have already been injected into the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Prison Service and the Guyana Fire Service in 2022.
In fact, a total of $51.5 billion was expended in 2022 and with this year’s allocation, it represents a 13 per cent increase from the last.

Guyana Police Force
In 2022, over $1.2 billion was pumped into the construction and rehabilitation of several Police stations including Anna Regina, Parika, Kamarang, Kurupung, Mahdia, Blairmont and Kato. In addition, the living quarters at Eve Leary and Port Kaituma were also rehabilitated.
However, in 2023, $2.4 billion has been allocated for the construction of Command Centres in Regions Two, Three, Five, Six and 10. In addition, works have already commenced on the construction of CID Headquarters, Special Constabulary Headquarters, Tactical Service Unit Headquarters; living quarters at Beterverwagting and Cove and John; Police Stations at Baramita, Den Amstel, Tuschen, Mocha, Sparendaam, Rose Hall, Imbaimadai, Eteringbang, Annai, Lethem, and Karasabai.
Further, works will also commence on the reconstruction of the Brickdam Police Station which was destroyed by fire back in 2021.
During his presentation, the Minister added that mobile, quick response Police service is key to averting criminal activity and in speedy detection and apprehension of criminals.
As such, in 2022, the Guyana Police Force acquired 40 pick-ups, 10 cars, 20 ATVs and 26 motorcycles at a sum of $495 million and in 2023, another 500 million was budgeted to support the mobility of the Force by expanding its transportation fleet.
“Additionally, in 2022, a sum of $114 million was expended towards equipping Community Policing Groups in the execution of their mandates to provide support to regular policing. A sum of $111 million will be allocated in 2023, to support Community Policing Groups,” Dr Singh revealed.
The improvements in the prevention and detection of criminal activities with the use of ICT solutions through the Safe Country Initiative were also earmarked as a success for 2022.
This entailed the provision and installation of intelligent video surveillance sites, regional command centres to monitor and manage these sites and 911 emergency response facilitation. As such, $2 billion was allocated toward expanding the Safe Country Initiative to Regions Three and Six.
Another $2.1 billion will be used to develop an electronic identification (eID) system to introduce a single electronic identifier, by which each citizen is assigned a unique national registration number to be used by all public and private sector agencies.
Additionally, the DNA analysis workflow system will become operationalised in 2023.
“In 2022, over 3000 ranks were trained in several areas, both locally and regionally and in 2023, $140 million is allocated towards improving the investigative and forensic capabilities of a further 3000 security personnel.

Guyana Prison Service
To promote an environment where custodial safety is assured, and inmates are rehabilitated and successfully reintegrated into society, 100 million will be set aside for training.
For 2023, over 1500 inmates will be trained in areas such as carpentry, joinery, masonry, block making, baking, cooking and other craft and trade activities to allow inmates to acquire life skills so that they can seamlessly re-integrate into society and prevent recidivism.
“Government will also ensure that the Prison Service is staffed with qualified and competent officers, with the necessary skill set to allow them to effectively navigate this complex environment. To this end, we will invest in prison management training for over 400 prison personnel this year,” the Finance Minister added.
Nevertheless, $2.2 billion is budgeted to advance prisons being constructed at Mazaruni and Lusignan, and to commence work for the reconstruction of New Amsterdam Prison.
A total of $5.5 billion is earmarked for Prison Service in 2023.

Guyana Fire Service
To facilitate continuous work at the new Fire Service Headquarters at D’Urban Park, Leonora, Wales and Ogle, over $545 million is being budgeted for their completion in 2023.
“An amount of $400 million was expended in 2022 on the acquisition of several new pieces of firefighting equipment including water bowsers, all-terrain firefighting vehicles, ambulances, and hydraulic platforms, with the aim of improving response capabilities. In 2023, an allocation of $489 million has been provided for the procurement of several other pieces of equipment for firefighting including water bowsers and tenders, water reservoirs, ambulances and a fully equipped firefighting boat.”
In the past year, the GFS embarked on a massive rehabilitation and replacement programme of all non-working fire hydrants in the country which saw 47 new installations and 28 replacements being done.
However, in the new fiscal year, a further 148 fire hydrants will be installed, and the training of fire officers remain a top priority.