Head of the Government Information Agency (GINA) Neaz Subhan said yesterday that the letter the agency had sent to Opposition Leader David Granger was to bring the evidence to him that there was an effect from the budget cuts made by the joint opposition. Subhan said that was the intention of the letter to Granger and agreed that GINA falls under the Office of the President which is managed by President Donald Ramotar. He made the comments after he was asked by Stabroek News during a telephone interview whether GINA will be writing to the President as advised by Granger.
In a letter dated June 13, 2013, and signed by the management and staff of GINA, the employees said they were prompted by Granger’s comments that there was no effect from the cuts made by the joint opposition to the budgetary allocations of some agencies in the 2013 National Budget. The staff said the cuts had badly affected their agency which had not paid employees since April and in an effort to reduce the staff’s transportation expenses, the management had implemented a roster for them to work on alternate days during the week with only a skeleton staff on the weekends.
In response to the letter, Granger had maintained that the opposition was not going to restore funds to GINA unless the agency changes the way it broadcasts and reported balanced stories. He had said, “We have said that GINA is not going to get state money if it’s not going to perform duties of the state as a whole… It is a state property.”
He had also said that “My advice to the members of the staff of GINA, who wrote the letter, was to send the letter to the President of Guyana who has the responsibility for information, beseeching the President to restructure GINA and allow the journalists in GINA to perform in a professional manner. That is to listen to both sides of the house and give balanced reports.”