The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) revealed on Thursday that is has unearthed illegal operations relative to forged drivers’ licences, among other illegalities.The GRA says it has discovered that some unscrupulous members of its staff were working in collusion with outsiders and members of the public to issue forged drivers’ licences, certificates of compliance and registrations.While announcing that details surrounding this development will not yet be divulged, the GRA has announced that an investigation has been launched and is ongoing.The GRA has also revealed that those individuals who were part of the illegal operations have been sent on leave.In a statement it issued, the authority posited: “The GRA will continue to work to improve its systems to minimise illegal activity and ensure that integrity and transparency are the hallmarks of the agency. However, it needs the help of theThe Guyana Revenue Authoritygeneral public in ridding the agency of staff who are determined to discredit the Authority by engaging in unscrupulous activities with willing participants and confidence tricksters.”Just a few months ago, the Guyana Police Force had seen some major irregularities in one of its examinations prior to the issuance of drivers’ licences, in that 174 persons were registered to write the examination, 106 persons presented themselves to do so on the day in question, but 207 scripts were received at conclusion of the examination, and 155 of the 207 scripts were completed.According to the Police, preliminary inquiries had revealed a complete breach of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) governing the administration and conduct of the learner driver’s theoretical examination.The Police had also stated that initial inquires had revealed that a senior subordinate officer who was mandated to oversee this theoretical examination, in collaboration with two pastors from the Cops and Faith Community Network partnership with the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and three junior GPF ranks, had left the venue shortly after the examination had commenced, and did not return.Further, it was reported that a junior subordinate officer who ought not to have been at the examination venue had presented himself there, had spent some time, and subsequently left.The GPF has said that since members of the Cops and Faith Community Network became involved in the invigilation of the Learner Driver’s Theoretical and Practical examinations, there have been reports of a significant reduction in the opportunities for corruption, complaint and allegations; thus this voluntary involvement will continue.
Foreign Affairs Minister Karen Cummings and a few APNU supporters outside of GECOM on Friday…reflects Govt’s executive authoritarianismMinister of State, Dawn Hastings and a few APNU supporters outside of GECOM on FridayMinister of State, Dawn Hastings-Williams, on Friday rejected the Caribbean Court of Justice’s appellate jurisdiction.During a bizarre protest staged by several Government ministers and a few A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) supporters outside the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) headquarters, where they were calling for house-to-house registration before elections are held, Hastings-Williams voiced her blatant disregard for the CCJ as Guyana’s final court of appeal by saying that that court has no authority to issue any consequential orders on Monday, since Guyana is an independent state with its own laws.“GECOM is the only authoritative body that will inform the Government whether they’re ready or not for elections. CCJ cannot rule, Guyana has its own institution. Guyana is an independent country with its own independent laws,” the minister said.Hastings was joined by Foreign Affairs Minister Karen Cummings, who also called for house-to-house registration before elections. And as the APNU supporters made allegations against the voters list and GECOM, Linda Gomes-Haley, one of the protestors, held up a placard that said that her name was not on the voters’ list. However, a quick perusal of the voters’ list available on the GECOM website showed that the woman, a resident of Kitty, Georgetown, was registered, and her name is on the Official List of Electors.This act of deception did not go down well with several senior persons within the business community, who told this publication that it is blatant acts of deception like this that causes confusion.Meanwhile, at a gathering of supporters, PNCR member James Bond was addressing the supporters when shouts of “Slow fire, more fire” became audible in the video recording as coming from supporters.A senior Private Sector official told this newspaper that the business community is the sector that feels the brunt of such irresponsible behaviour.The Caribbean Court of Justice has two jurisdictions: an original jurisdiction and an appellate jurisdiction. In its original jurisdiction, the CCJ interprets and applies the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (which established the Caribbean Community), and is an international court with compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction in respect to the interpretation of the treaty.In its appellate jurisdiction, the CCJ, as the court of last resort, hears appeals in both civil and criminal matters from those member states which have ceased to allow appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC). As of March 2015, Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana have replaced the JCPC’s appellate jurisdiction with that of the CCJ.The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is the Caribbean’s regional judicial tribunal. It was established on 14 February 2001 by the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice. That agreement was signed on that date by the CARICOM states of Antigua & Barbuda; Barbados; Belize; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Saint Kitts & Nevis; Saint Lucia; Suriname; and Trinidad & Tobago. Two further states, Dominica and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, signed the agreement on 15 February 2003, bringing the total number of signatories to 12.The Bahamas and Haiti, although full members of CARICOM, are not yet signatories; and because of Montserrat’s status as a British territory, that country must await Instruments of Entrustment from the UK before it can ratify the treaty.The Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice came into force on 23 July 2003, and the CCJ was inaugurated on 16 April 2005 in Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, the seat of the Court.The reasons given for the establishment of a supreme appellate court are many and varied, including a perceived regional disenfranchisement by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.