Georgetown, Guyana – (September 4, 2015) The Government is fully supportive of the recent appointment of Dr. Veersammy Ramayya as Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Six. Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said that the Coalition is confident that the former parliamentarian will prove to be an asset to the regional administration in Region Six and will work towards delivering better quality services to the people of East Berbice.

Speaking at his weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency, the Minister said that Dr. Ramayya has a passion for is work in his own community and prefers to work in an area where he is best suited and most challenged.

“We believe that his popularity and experience in Region Six; the fact that he won an election against the PPP in that area on his own demonstrates the capacity his to perform in this critical area of Government’s business,” the Minister of State said. 

Responding to criticisms that the Government is following the path of its predecessor by awarding important posts to political personalities, Minister Harmon explained that the appointment of an REO is not one which requires public service approval. REOs, he said, have always been quasi-political, contracted employees. 

However, he said that the Government will make no compromises with regard to appointments, which require the necessary qualifications and for certain protocols and processes to be followed. The Minister said the Government will make no compromises.  

In the case of Region Six, he said that the Administration, since it came into Office, has been investigating several reports regarding the award of contracts and other such discrepancies. As such, it is necessary to ensure that the right people are appointed at the right places so that the Government’s work programme is not in any way affected. 

The Government will be spending a significant sum of money in the region, particularly in the area of infrastructure. Minister Harmon explained that the 2015 budget has created a very narrow window to provide a certain level of service between now and December and added that, “We did not want anybody in position that would affect the flow of resources that will go to the people.”

He reiterated that REOs are contracted employees and if they are found operating in contravention of the terms and conditions of their contracts and if their performances are not up to standard then the Government will ensure that they are held responsible for their actions. 

“We will not condone REOs that are abusive and who do not carry out the mandate of the elected councils…we will hold them to a higher standard of performance and we will hold them to a higher standard of personal conduct in these offices,” the Minister of State affirmed. 

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