ERC’s probe into GECOM’s hiring practices stalled

first_imgAt a time when the country’s elections body is expected to employ more staff for the imminent General and Regional Elections, concerns about its hiring practices still linger as the Ethnic Relations Commission’s investigation at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is yet to be completed.ERC Chairman, Dr John SmithAccording to ERC Chairman, Dr John Smith, while the probe was expected to be wrapped up since last year, this was not done.“We out-sourced the investigators… [But] they needed some more time and I gave them the time… No [I can’t say how long more they need], but the report has to come back to the Commissioners and then we will inform the public,” Dr Smith told Guyana Times on Wednesday.Retired Justice Stanley Moore, who had served as Home Affairs Minister under late President LFS Burnham during the People’s National Congress (PNC) regime, along with former Deputy Commissioner of Police Lloyd Smith and human resources consultant Jairam Petam, was recruited to inquire into claims made by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) GECOM Commissioners Bibi Shadick, Sase Gunraj and Robeson Benn, that there was an ethnic imbalance at the elections body and hiring practices were being manipulated in favour of one group.The team was supposed to complete the probe in three weeks during October. However, the time was extended as the probe widened and to date, there has been no indication as to when it would be concluded.“I can’t say exactly in terms of timing [when the report will be available]… There is not really [any revised deadline], because they encountered some difficulties and that stalled the whole investigation and getting out the report,” the ERC Chairman stated.When asked about the difficulties that are delaying the investigation, Dr Smith opted not to go into detail, telling this publication that they would be known when the report was completed.Last year, the Elections Commission was embroiled in controversy after it was alleged former Deputy Chief Elections Officer Vishnu Persaud was overlooked for the position because of his ethnicity despite him being the top ranked candidate.The Commission went ahead and hired the second-ranked candidate Roxanne Meyers, after GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice James Patterson broke the deadlock and voted in favour of her.Since then, there have been allegations that candidates applying for posts at GECOM were being rejected and accepted based on their ethnicity and political alignment.After these claims were made, the ERC had scheduled a meeting with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, where the matters were raised. The ERC also met with President David Granger at that time.At a press conference prior to the probe, the GECOM Chairman had said that qualifications ultimately trumped race when filling vacancies. When asked whether deliberate efforts to achieve racial diversity were being made, Patterson had contended that deliberate efforts were being made to get the best people and that he had “no apologies” for that.The ERC is a constitutional body. It works with persons and agencies to promote harmonious ethnic relations. The Commission also deals with complaints, promotes training in racial harmony, and fosters a sense of security, among all ethnic groups.Meanwhile, the PPP/C Commissioners had also registered complaints of Chairman Patterson using his post to muzzle them on the issue of hiring practices. During a statutory meeting, Commissioner Benn had highlighted issues regarding the ethnic composition of the workforce at the GECOM Secretariat, having pointed out that the perception was that the vast majority of the staff of the Commission were persons of one ethnicity.The PPP/C Commissioners had said that the Chairman prevented Benn from further defending his position and when challenged, adjourned the meeting for over half an hour.Their allegations followed by an earlier statement by executive member of the PPP, Dr Roger Luncheon who made allegations against GECOM on the same issue.last_img read more


first_imgDONEGAL Captain Michael Murphy said sweet victory over Kildare at Croke Park in the All-Ireland Quarter Final was just reward for the hard work put into the county effort by the players and management team.Murphy revealed that he played through the pain barrier when he came on as a sub in the 28th minute despite a hamstring strain.Said the delighted Glenswilly man: “It’s no secret that Jim McGuinness, Rory Gallagher and the whole management team came in they had great faith in us. “Every man worked hard on their game to try and find ways of improving themselves.“It’s amazing when a whole group of lads get together and they are pulling in the one direction what can actually happen.“I suppose we were just delighted that we managed to put in that hard work. Sometimes when you do put in the hard work it’s nice to see a few benefits.“Maybe over the last few years this team has shipped a lot of flak for having a bad attitude – or maybe not working hard enough is another one. “I suppose this year you can never get it right. We were working too hard now in certain quarters.“It is just a matter of the whole lot of us sticking together. That’s the way we are at the moment and that’s the way we will continue to be.”The county captain said the players never lost faith in their ability to claw their way back into the game in extra time.“We have always been coached and we always had it going through our minds that you keep going until the final whistle,” said Murphy.“When they were three down midway through the second period (of extra-time) it would have been very easy to lie down and go through the paces. “But we knew that there were scores in the team. We felt we were keeping Kildare out relatively well and it was just a matter of trying to construct a few attacks and we managed to get over a few scores. We are delighted that the scores managed to go over.”He said he wasn’t risked from the start because of a slight hamstring tear, adding: “I picked up a slight tear in the hamsting last week in training and the medical team didn’t think that there was 70 minutes in it.“I suppose I had to play a lot more in the end but I thought it was best coming in from the bench rather than starting the game and having to come off.“It’s amazing what a few painkillers can do.” TIR CHONAILL ABÚ: CAPTAIN MURPHY SAYS HARD WORK WAS KEY TO VICTORY! was last modified: July 31st, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Captaindonegal v kildareglenswillyMichael Murphylast_img read more