‘If public servants don’t declare assets, they’ll have to leave the job’- Jagdeo

There are 84 public officials, including 10 Opposition Parliamentarians, who failed to declare their assets to the Integrity Commission and Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo says the public servants who do not declare their assets will be asked to leave their jobs.

The Vice President, while engaging reporters on Wednesday, acknowledged that a number of government officials and senior public servants have been identified as defaulters by the Integrity Commission.

No Government Parliamentarian is, however, in default.

As such, Dr. Jagdeo said the Ministers of Government have been asked to engage the public servants attached to their ministries to declare their assets at the earliest. If they fail to do so, he said those workers will be asked to leave their jobs.

“They have to comply or leave the job, that’s the law of the country.

“You don’t have the right to pick and choose which law you follow,” Jagdeo said.

The Opposition Parliamentarians who did not declare their assets are former Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon, Khemraj Ramjattan, Dawn Hastings- Williams, Dr. Nicolette Henry, Dr. Karen Cummings, Sherod Duncan, Shurwayne Holder, Deonarine Ramsaroop, Vinceroy Jordan and Devin Sears.

Dr. Jagdeo commented on the non-submission from these Opposition Parliamentarians, accusing them of avoiding measures that are in place to promote accountability. He pointed out that members of the opposition, for years, have not been making submissions to the Integrity Commission.

Meanwhile, a number of government officials have also failed to declare their assets.

Director of the Local Content Secretariat, Martin Pertab; Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Narine Singh; Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke; Director of Culture, Tamika Boatswain and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Ryan Toolsiram are some of the officials who did not declare their assets.

Additionally, Guyana’s Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), George Talbot; former High Commissioner to India, Charrandass Persaud and Consul General in Suriname, Mitradevi Ali among officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who did not submit their declarations.

In its new notice naming defaulters, the Commission said the 84 officials are asked to submit their 2022 Declaration Form on or before July 31, 2023.

If the officials continue to fail to submit their declarations, persons can face a $25,000 fine alongside six to 12 months imprisonment. Further failure constitutes a continuing offence and the person will be fined $10,000 for each day the offence continues.