As if GECOM’s studied foot dragging by its unilaterally-appointed Chairman and the PNC Commissioners weren’t enough to prove it’s working in cahoots with President Granger to stymie the constitutionally-due elections, the recent news from the ERC should do the trick.
Now we all know, that, by and large, we Guyanese vote along ethnic lines, don’t you? If you don’t accept that, then you’re definitely suffering from some Rip Van Winkle syndrome!! So with our “electoral fiddling” history, when it’s claimed 90 per cent of GECOM’s employees are from one ethnic group, not surprisingly eyebrows are raised! And folks want to know whether another bout of ethnic fiddling’s being hatched!
What to do?? Well in Guyana, we have an Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) that’s supposed to investigate such matters after a complaint is made – which in this case was done by PPP Commissioner Robeson Benn. The ERC appointed a very senior and qualified sub-committee to do the honours and after several months, finally delivered the (shocking) report.
The first anomaly that jumps out at you, is – in the face of declaring that the HR department refused to even show up to be questioned, much less submit documents – the ERC could still declare they could find no evidence of “ethnic discrimination”!! Of course, they didn’t. How could the PPP get the evidence when the recalcitrant HR Dept didn’t even show up so that they could be asked to produce their records?!! But the ERC also erred when they claimed it’s the responsibility of the complainant (PPP) to independently provide the evidence to support their claim!! Really?!!
In anti-discrimination law in the US, there have so much experience on these matters going back to the sixties, they have a doctrine of “adverse impact”. Once the complainant can show the institution has a “substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion, or other employment decision which works to the disadvantage of members of a race, sex, or ethnic group” the burden of proof shifts to the employer to show their practices aren’t discriminatory!!
Then came the matter of the hiring of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer. The former DCEO received a higher score from the evaluators than his “green” rival but was still denied the position. Why? Seems the unilaterally appointed Chairman – saw something “shifty” in the fella’s records! He promised to produce these “shifty” records but never did. While the ERC found discrimination, they said they couldn’t say whether it was “ethnic”.
So what was it?? Political?? Or gender?
The fella should sue the Chairman of GECOM for that “shifty” slur!
GPHC’s been in the news lately…but sadly, not for the right reason. Which, in the medical field is saving lives. We all know of the sad deaths of three young kids who were already suffering from cancer but died after their treatment (chemotherapy) was administered incorrectly. Then there was the case of the premature twins, one of whom was incorrectly presumed dead and sent to the morgue…only to be discovered as still alive.
While these are heart-rending cases, it behooves all of us to look behind the incidents so that they can become things of the past. One of the common thread in both scenarios was the question of supervision and protocols of junior doctors and staff. We’ve had experts from within the field emphasise this factor. But what isn’t stressed enough is that the staff at GPHC is stretched very, very thin.
There needs to be more doctors hired to deal with a workload that handles ALL the “hard” cases from across the country.
This administration’s appointments of “insiders” hasn’t helped.
Justice Bryn Pollard, had a sly dig at ANUG’s leader Ralph Ramkarran, for evidently changing his position on whether a court can order an illegal government to demit office.
He should be reminded: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers and divines.”
And evidently “old head” legal advisers.