Integrity tests would be one more exercise in futility

Dear Editor,

Recent news reports of proposed integrity tests for senior officers of the GPF drew some attention and comments. I wonder why, and I wonder, again, when we will ever learn.

On the face of it, integrity tests are (were) a good idea; but the time for these now useless exercises is way past. This is not just for the GPF, but across the board here in Guyana.

This can be said because the smaller fellows-clerks, taxi drivers, vendors, and others who may not be well educated or experienced-have all developed and refined ways to manoeuvre successfully around scrutiny and probes into their real backbone business and their real selves.

More specifically, these entry level little people have all learned long ago how to diversify; how to divest temporarily; and how to fashion a believed plausible cover story. Many present (with a straight face) a loud, believed persuasive front that shelters under family, in-laws, church, and that omnipresent, all-purpose Guyanese impenetrable shield called business. Remember that this is at the lower levels, and as practised by not very skilled folks.

They look boldly in the eye and lie profusely, and expect to be believed; such is the confidence in their own slickness and cuteness, too.

Now if these lowly citizens already have readymade defences and robust financial alibis, then what is to be expected as the ladder is explored upwards towards more senior levels in different occupations-known money occupations-in this society? How much more sophisticated and sturdy would be their preparation and readiness for whatever comes their way in the form of integrity tests?

I submit that all manner of stratagems are in place to conceal and mislead as to who is really who, and what they truly represent. For these reasons, I believe integrity tests-anywhere and at any level-are meaningless and useless. They would be one more exercise in futility, and another going-through-the-motions process.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

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