Audit of police reform process planned – Rohee

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee is awaiting the results of an external audit on the success of the implementation of the Guyana Police Force’s Security Sector Strategic Plan (SSSP).

Rohee told Stabroek News that he would not want to pronounce on how the implementation process has been going until the audit report is completed. He said that while work has been ongoing, he was looking forward to an assessment of the SSSP implementation, especially as Guyana is heading towards signing another contact with the consultancy firm Capita Symonds.

In January of 2013, the Home Affairs Ministry and Capita Symonds signed a US$129,750 ($25 million) agreement for the provision of consultancy services for the SSSP.

“This year we are hoping that we will be able to sign the contract with the British firm, Capita Symonds, to begin an addition to what we are currently putting in place or what we have already put in place,” Rohee stated at a handing over ceremony held at the Criminal Investigation Department on Tuesday.

The minister said that the Citizen Security Programme, with the establishment of a management division and a senior management department in the Guyana Police Force to ensure that the Strategic Plan is implemented, was also going to be discussed further with the British firm this year.

During a phone interview with Stabroek News yesterday, Rohee said that any additional agreements with Capita Symonds will work in conjunction with the other initiatives, such as the training of a marine division for the Guyana Police Force, which has been completed within the last few weeks.

He said that procuring boats to assist with the policing of waterways in unison with the training initiatives are all under the purview of the SSSP.

Rohee acknowledged that the criticisms on the implementation of the SSSP and towards the head of the oversight body, the Strategic Management Department’s Patrick Mentore was an ongoing issue. Mentore’s appointment was highly criticised as he was an officer in the Public Affairs Department of the United States Embassy at the same time a major visa scandal was unraveled, the details of which were chronicled in a recent book written by US Professor David Casavis.

When Mentore was asked about this by Stabroek News last year, his answer was that these allegations about him were raised since 2001 and he had dealt with them.

Rohee said that the audit, which is expected to be finalized within the next few months, will give a scope as to what areas the SSSP will need to provide more focus on.

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