The opposition People’s Progressive Party on Monday said it will be going before the government instituted State Asset Recovery Unit to ask that it investigates the whereabouts of equipment and furniture that were given to the previous Office of the Leader of the Opposition under the leadership of then Opposition Leader David Granger.
According to the PPP, five months after being elected to executive office, the APNU+AFC government is yet to hand over the assets so that the new Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo can commence work.
Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira confirmed that Jagdeo has chosen a building along Church Street, Georgetown, which once served as the Surinamese Embassy to be his new office.
She indicated that Jagdeo is ready to move in and begin his work but that process was being stymied by the government’s delay in handing over the assets.
“The transfer of assets ought to have been completed in a timely manner,” Teixeira said as she reminded of the mere days the PPP Ministers were given to hand over government assets following May 11.
She claimed that the government has informed that that the previous Office of the Leader of the Opposition along Hadfield Street was being used as an annex to the Office of the President and that the assets are being used for that purpose by Presidential Advisers and other staff.
But the Opposition Chief Whip claimed that during a recent inspection of the building along with the Parliament Office, several pieces of equipment including 13 laptop computers could not be accounted for.
She is calling for an audit to be conducted so that the whereabouts of the equipment can be known.
Asked whether the new Opposition Leader will be opposed to accepting new furniture and equipment, Teixeira claimed that such a move will put a strain on the already limited parliamentary budget from which these assets would have to be procured.
She said Jagdeo will not be accepting a salary as Leader of the Opposition and the $10 million which was budgeted for his office will have to go towards paying rent, salary for staff and other utilities.
“There can’t be double standards,” she added as she called on the government to account for the assets forthwith.
The Opposition Chief Whip said the government has not given any indication when they will be able to collect the assets and set up the new office and reasoned that it was most unacceptable.
In relation to the 13 laptops, she claimed that the Minister of State informed the party that it was out in the field and they would need time to clean them up before having them returned.