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… PAC roasts REO over the matter
More than a year after the Public Service Commission (PSC) appointed Seewchan as Region 10’s Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO), the career public servant remains barred from performing his duties.
The issue took center stage when the Region’s officials appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament of Guyana on Monday. Already in the hot seat, Region 10’s Regional Executive Officer (REO), Dwight John, who led the regional delegation, was grilled on the matter by the PAC chaired by A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Member of Parliament, Jermaine Figueira.
It was APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Ganesh Mahipaul, who questioned the REO on the Region’s Programme Areas, their Programme Managers and responsibilities. Those programmes are: Administration and Finance, Education, Agriculture, Public Works and Health Deliveries. Statutorily, the DREO is required to be the Programme Manager for Administration and Finance, however, in the case of the Region 10 Regional Democratic Council (RDC) that position is being held by the Chief Accountant.
Asked why the DREO is not administering his statutory functions as Programme Manager – Administration, the REO told the PAC that he is in no position to say. MP Mahipaul expressed concern that the State is paying the DREO for functions he is not allowed to carry out.
“Why do we have the Chief Accountant heading a programme that the DREO is being paid for?” MP Mahipaul asked.
According to the REO, the DREO oversees the Personnel Department as well as administrative issues within the region.
In an interview with the Village Voice News, MP Mahipaul said the situation is simply unacceptable and a breach of statutory practice.
“The regions have statutory positions so as to ensure proper checks and balances in the face of ensuring accountability and transparency. The action of Dwight John who is the Regional Executive Officer of Region 10 to not allow the appointed Deputy Regional Executive Officer to function is an act that is illegal in simple language,” MP Mahipaul said.
It was noted that the Chief Accountant of the Region is responsible for the operational functioning of the Regional Accounting Unit while the DREO holds the responsibility of overseeing the functioning of the Chief Accountant. “It is all about proper checks and balances. With this behaviour of the REO of Region 10 one can only assume that there are wide spread corruption and illegal practices at the Region under his watch. We must now keep our eyes on him,” the APNU+AFC MP contended.
Shortly after his appointment as DREO in 2021, Seewchan was reportedly locked out of his Office by the REO.