SARA Bill paves way for hiring of new Director, CEO

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first_img…PPP to oppose any politically affiliated appointmentsNow that the controversial State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) Bill 2017 has passed in the National Assembly by the Government, which used its one-seat majority to enact the legislation, the hiring of a new Director, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other officers for that agency could commence soon.However, in order for this to happen, President David Granger will first have to assent to the Bill and have it gazetted so that the Agency can be established and fully functional.Prior to the Bill being passed, Dr Clive Thomas was the Director of the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU), which has now been renamed SARA and Aubrey Heath-Retemyer was the CEO. Other persons who were also working at SARU were Tacuma Ogunseye and Eric Phillips.But while the Government may have plans to rehire Thomas and the current batch of senior staff, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) plans to vigorously oppose it.This is according to former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, who told Guyana Times on Wednesday that his Party would not accept such reappointments.“We will oppose any person, who first of all is a politician or has displayed any form of political bias or affiliation,” Nandlall asserted.According to Nandlall, SARA by the terms of the legislation that will bring it into force has tremendous law enforcement powers and only persons who are trained in the areas of law enforcement and matters in relation to this Bill should be hired.He said, “This bill has no place for politicians. So, if any of the current people; they are tainted political people and none of them are qualified on that ground alone.”The PPP has already announced plans to mount legal challenges against the Bill, and Nandlall said one of the challenges which would be launched would target the appointment process.Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall“Parliament has no role and function in appointing persons. No parliament in the world under the constitutional system like ours appoints people,” he explained.The former Minister continued: “If they persist in putting politically contaminated persons, then we will challenge on that ground too that those persons cannot bring to bear an impartial mind to an investigation having regard to their political dissidents and political hostility to a large section of the population…They cannot be expected objectively to function professionally.”Meanwhile, former President Bharrat Jagdeo, at a press conference on Tuesday, expressed his disappointment over the appointment of “political hacks” to the now vacant positions at SARA.SARU CEO Heath-Retemyer was accused of getting the position of CEO because of his close affiliation with Government.However, the Opposition Leader on Tuesday contended that his Party would seek to have persons with the requisite qualification function in the positions at SARA and would accept nothing less.last_img

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