The State Asset Recovery Unit (SARU) will not only investigate past government functionaries but will also carry out probes, where necessary, on serving state officials and Government Ministers.
Attorney General Basil Williams volunteered the clarification on Wednesday while casting aside accusations that public officials who served within and under the previous administration were being targeted.
The Attorney General said whether there are any present state officials employed by the government over the last year who needed to be investigated, would be left to the independent judgement of SARU.
The Minister’s comments come as he prepares for a public consultation to be held on Thursday at the Pegasus Hotel in relation to the State Asset Recovery Bill.
Guyana has been working with the assistance of the United Nations, the World Bank and British experts to finalize the Bill which was first published on the Ministry of Legal Affairs website two weeks ago.
The Bill makes provisions for the establishment of a State Asset Recovery Agency (SARA) which will be headed by a Director and staffed with police, customs, revenue and immigration officers.
AG Williams said the Bill is largely a civil recovery and civil remedies legislation to ensure that state assets unlawfully acquired by public officials and any other persons could be returned.
At Thursday’s consultation will see in attendance representatives from the United State Embassy, SARU Director, Chief Parliamentary Counsel, UK Specialist , and UN and World Bank reps.
“This Bill is vital in the war against corruption by state officials and public officials and persons who they may act in concert with,” Williams said.
He expects that the Bill will be presented to the National Assembly after the recess, while pointing out that the absence of the Bill has resulted in SARU’s work being hampered.
“SARU has been conducting investigations and that’s why the Bill is important because we found that when they requested information that information wasn’t forthcoming,” he added.
In addition, the recovered assets will be used to create a fund that will be disbursed in relation to the operations of SARA.