The Ministry of Home Affairs has said that its Houses of Justice have served over 600 citizens since it was launched in regions Two and Three late last year and plans are in train to expand the service to other regions.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, Houses of Justice are multi-agency service centres geared to address pressing social needs at the community level. The project was initiated as part of the Community Action Component of the Government of Guyana and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded Citizen Security Programme (CSP), aimed at ensuring that citizens are provided with services to assist in the elimination of social tensions, GINA said.
Minister Clement Rohee also said that the Houses of Justice Project provides basic social services to communities that otherwise would have had to travel to the city to access them. Issues linked to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), birth certificates and the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc. are the most frequently queried, the minister said, “The whole idea is to avoid the royal run-around.”
A MoU was signed with a number of key agencies to provide basic services to residents. These include: the Guyana Police Force, General Register Office, National Insurance Scheme, Guyana Power and Light Inc., the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security and the Community Policing Secretariat.
A new component was recently introduced to the programme which allows parents desirous of sending their child/children for extra tutoring to do so at the Houses of Justice. To facilitate this, the ministry has hired retired teachers/head teachers and other seasoned professionals who are versed in education delivery.
The ministry is also in the process of negotiating with the IDB for a second CSP (the first ended in June) that will make provisions for the project to be extended to other regions.
According to GINA, Houses of Justice have been established at Charity, Dartmouth, Suddie, Aurora, and Kabakaburi in Region Two and Parika, Zeelugt, Klien/Pouderoyen, Canal No.1, and Patentia in Region Three.