The Police Forensic Lab has filled staff vacancies for the $840 million facility which is yet to be commissioned.
Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee made the revelation at yesterday’s PPP press conference. He said that a panel was set up after the vacancies were advertised in newspapers to conduct interviews and the human resources department was already staffed.
Rohee said, “In fact I was very much surprised to see that Guyana still has so many of these people in the country to work in forensic laboratories. We have selected the best that have applied and now it is only a question to finish up all the technical, physical work and have them ensconced at the forensic lab.”
He said the June 17 deadline was regrettably derailed because the contractor requested an additional week to finish the fine details and the ministry obliged.
The minister said the Home Affairs budget allotment meant that although the opposition was against the four bills tabled he would be utilising budgetary money “to do things”.
Rohee stated that the laboratory equipment was already in Guyana; it has been in storage since May and would be placed in the compound as soon as the contractor was finished. In December of last year the ministry signed a $346 million contract with Western Scientific Company to supply all of the lab equipment.
He further stated that since his return from the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Russia earlier this month the ministry was moving aggressively to train higher level police officers. He said that in speaking with his counterparts from across the world many made offers to hold training seminars for the GPF. Rohee said the costs would need to be worked out if any programmes or initiatives were to be developed.
During the press conference Rohee stated that he was frustrated that the security reforms proposed in the Evidence (Amendment) Bill, the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, the Fire Service (Change of Name) Bill as well as the Police (Change of Name) Bill were voted down by the opposition. Rohee stated that during tripartite talks he was made to believe that if another member of the PPP/C were to introduce security reform bills the opposition would still vote them down. “I haven’t gotten any sign from the highest level that they are prepared to adjust their position,” he said.
On Friday last, a day after the bills were defeated, Basil Williams of the APNU stated that the reforms could be tabled by another member of the government. He also stated that the government has brought previous security reform bills aimed at reducing wait times during the judicial process that have not been as effective as originally touted.