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From its inception, Village Voice News has editorialised on the state of Governance in Guyana and has highlighted that many of the problems confronting Guyana are occasioned by bad governance. For the benefit of the readers this editorial repeats it definitional exposition on Governance. Governance in itself is the process by which decisions are made. The process includes the adherence to certain principles/elements which are at the core of Good Governance. These principles/elements are: transparency, openness, equity, accountability, ethics and inclusion, inter alia (these elements were elucidated in an earlier editorial). They are operationalised in the context of the need for the effective use of the resources to be expend for the purpose of realising the decisions made; and at the said time the efficient use of those resources. This may be summarised as the economic use of the resources deployed and the achievement of the objective for which they were deployed.
There is a recent occurrence that highlights Guyana`s plague of Bad Governance, given the afore elucidation of what is meant by Governance.
The International Republican Institute (IRI) Electoral Project
The Government of Guyana along with IRI recently announced the intention of IRI to implement a project aimed at responding to Justice George`s obiter dictum that there is need for electoral law reform if Guyana is to avoid, in future elections, some of the pitfalls that plagued the 2020 elections. As a sequel to that announcement, IRI sought a meeting with GECOM. That meeting though convened did not achieve its objective due to the objection of some commissioners. Those who objected contended that: a) GECOM had not been advised by the Country`s administrative sovereign, the Executive, that IRI had been given the go-ahead to undertake such a project; and b) the legislative sovereign had not been privy to any such decision, which if implemented would ultimately require legislative action. These objections seem to be related to the manner of conduct of decision making (governance) in relation to this matter. Firstly, the element of inclusion/participation in the determination of a matter of such national gravity was patently absent. The major stakeholders did not even have a consultation on the matter. Secondly, the protocol relating to the initiation of such projects, by a foreign entity, was being observed in the breach or downplayed. In 2014, the said IRI`s initiation of its project without Cabinet`s approval, according to the then Head of the Presidential Secretariat, was deemed an “affront” to the then Government. Why should GECOM entertain IRI on this occasion without the communication that would have assured GECOM that they were not going to be party to another such act/affront by IRI?
Adherence to the principles of Good Governance would avoid Guyana much of the political and consequential social instability, which inhibits national cohesion and diverts the nation`s attention away from the real socio-economic challenges that the nation needs to confront.