The opposition People’s Progressive Party on Thursday called out the coalition government over what it said was a growing habit of secrecy.
Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira was very critical of the government on the issue of the appointment of Presidential and other Government Advisors without full disclosure in the National Assembly and to the Guyanese public.
Her criticism followed the recent revocation of the appointment of Guyanese businessman, Brian Tiwarie as the Government Advisor on Business.
The appointment was done in January 2016, reportedly without the knowledge of several Cabinet members and was only published when reported in the press at the weekend.
Teixeira, a former Presidential Advisor herself, reminded of the unwillingness of several government Ministers to disclose who were the newly appointed government advisors during the 2016 budget. She said the opposition party is concerned about the dangerous pattern of secrecy that is emerging within the government.
According to the Opposition Chief Whip, the APNU+AFC government has failed to live up to its promise of transparency and accountability and is slowing becoming one of the least transparent governments in the history of Independent Guyana. She said while any government has a right to appoint advisors, the public also has a right to know.
The opposition Party claims to be aware of several other persons who were appointed to advisory positions in the government and they are yet to be publicized. The former Presidential Advisor said the PPP was aware of the appointment of Robert Corbin and Eric Phillips as Advisors although their names were not given during the budget debates.
Teixeira also expressed concern that many of these positions were not just merely “honourific” but attracted salaries and other perks.
She said the party is aware that the appointment of Tiwarie came with money and perks, including the issuance of a diplomatic passport. She said even without money, a title gives a person suede that can be used to close and open doors. Teixeira was also concerned of the behavior of some of these advisors in attacking members of the opposition and sowing discord among the citizenry.