The Guyana Government has re-appointed retired Appeal Court Judge and former Attorney General Charles Ramson Snr., as the country’s Commissioner of Information.
Mr. Ramson was first appointed to the position back in 2013 as the first person to hold that office but was fired back in 2018 when the coalition rendered his office dysfunctional.
It was revealed in the National Assembly today that the father of Guyana’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport has since been rehired.
During the consideration of the budget estimates in the Committee of Supply today, it was revealed that $40 million has been allocated for the Office of Commissioner of Information this year.
Opposition Member of Parliament Tabitha Sarabo- Halley pressed the Government side for a breakdown of the spending for the office.
“Mr. Chair I am inquiring whether the $40M was in fact for the office or for the Commissioner and if there is no other staff that would be assisting the Commissioner in his duties as Commissioner of Information,” the Opposition MP questioned.
In response, Governance Minister, Gail Teixeira said more than half of the allocated sum will go towards the salary of the Commissioner and the remaining amount towards the functioning of his office.
“The $40M is allocated as follows: $1.5M per month for the Commissioner with gratuity and vacation allowance which are calculated statutory and that comes up to $23.8M per annum and the balance then goes towards the office for supplies, materials and the office for the Commissioner of Information,” Teixeira said.
The Minister said she was not in a position to outline the plans for the office for the year, but has noted that President Ali has received a work plan for the Commissioner of Information.
The appointment of a Commissioner of Information is made under the Access to Information Act of 2011 that allows for members of the public to request information relating to public institutions such as government-owned companies, agencies, or statutory bodies.
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