Would this official be able to revive the central role of Go-Invest exercising the ambiguous authority of a ‘non-executive’ chief executive officer?

Dear Editor,

There can be little surprise at the organisational contortions recently dispersed by those described as decision-makers.

The latest pirouette surrounds Go-Invest, which has captured the attention of two rapporteurs in Stabroek News of Friday, 02 May 2014. One in inconsistently innocuous vein pretending to evaluate the ‘future and faith’ (no credit to the sub-editor) of the organisation.

The prognostications however provided little evidence of how informed the contributor was of the role and functions of Go-Invest, in order to assist the reader’s appreciation of its significance to the economy.

Of particular interest, was mention of the appointment of a ‘non-executive CEO’. CEO translates as Chief Executive Officer. It is certainly a highly imaginative arrangement most likely unique to Go-Invest. A companion article on the page following hardly enlightens the opacity of a decision which has effectively reduced the former (non-executive) chairman to the status of a ‘non- executive’ chief executive. Why should any experienced manager in an organisation accept such a substantive demotion in face of the objective logic which suggests that the position of executive chairman ( as in the case of GuySuCo, for example) would satisfy the requirements of the responsibilities of a chief executive being effectively ‘ executed’?

In the meantime and possibly overlooked by observers, is that the new ‘non-executive’ appointee was hitherto Head of the Health Sector Development Unit, Ministry of Health. Assuming that its offices would not be closed following his demittal, it would be helpful to be advised of the profile of the successor incumbent.

But back to Go-Invest itself. It was established, consequent upon a comparative analysis which showed that Guyana was the most delinquent of Caricom countries in facilitating the entry and operationalisation of foreign investing companies. It was initially conceived as what was described as a one-stop agency-intended to expedite the agenda of activities that would allow foreign companies to be registered and become eligible for relevant statutory concessions; and at the same time, ensure compliance with the local laws and regulations, including those related to employment.

Indeed the project evoked sufficient interest as to attract more than one donor funded programme of which, one was the provision of an electronic network linking Go-Invest, GRA, Deeds Registry (legally should read Deeds Registry authority), and eventually the NIS. Despite the computerised installations which can be seen at the ‘Deeds Registry’, the efficacy of Go-Invest did not appear to rise to the expectations of the donors and official stakeholders, to the extent that consideration was given at one stage to its closure. The fact was, however that the organisation was the victim of other agencies of the administration hijacking the process, by-passing it and dealing direct with their respective areas of investment.

Now with this suggested re-construction aimed at enhancing the sustainability of Go-Invest, one would hope that a conscientious policy decision would be made requiring all collaborating agencies to adhere to the original principles, rules and guidelines, as appropriately advised. It would therefore be interesting to see if the official who has lived through the vicissitudes of previous years, could revive the central role of Go-Invest, while exercising the ambiguous authority of a ‘non-executive’ chief executive officer, presumably reporting to his successor non- executive chairman.

Yours faithfully,
E.B. John

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