AFC MP Trevor Williams has submitted a series of questions to Culture Minister Dr Frank Anthony about the local publishing house, Caribbean Press which are down for Parliament’s Order Paper on July 25 according to a Notice Paper.
Over the last year, numerous questions have been asked about the functioning of the Press, its editorial board and how decisions are made about which writers to publish. The questions have come mainly from local writer Ruel Johnson and several other persons. The Head of Caribbean Press, Dr David Dabydeen has answered some of the questions.
Williams’ questions to Anthony include whether there is an “establishing document governing the mandate, mission and management” of the Press. He is also seeking to ascertain if there is an annual or biennial plan of action for the Press.
Noting that former President Bharrat Jagdeo committed $20M to the Press in 2008, Williams wants to know from Anthony how much has been spent in total on the Press from 2009 to 2012. The AFC MP is enquiring as to if any consultants were involved in the establishing of the Press and who they were.
Williams has also posed questions on the administrative costs associated with the Press and the expense involved in the production of a single title. Williams is further enquiring as to the costs of full editorial services, design and layout, printing and shipping and storage.
Anthony is also being asked for an “exact breakdown” of the books distributed in Guyana by title, location and number of copies as of June 20th, 2013.
Earlier this month, Dabydeen said there will shortly be a “significant evolution” of the Caribbean Press. He made the comments at the Umana Yana during the launching of 20 Guyana Classics published by the Press.
Dabydeen stated that without government funding, the Press would continue its work. “The Press will continue with or without funding from the government,” he said.
Dabydeen asserted that the Press has to move past its current mandate. “What we need to do now is to put in place something, an advisory board, like paid positions…Mr Anthony is considering employing people, people on the ground as we are now focusing on writing by children, writing by people whose voices are rarely heard,” he said. The executive editor stated that he has had discussions with the ministry and various stakeholders and within the next few days or weeks there will be a significant “evolution” of the Press.