Rohee denies claims corruption rife at GRO

PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee has denied claims by Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix that the General Registrar’s Office (GRO) is highly corrupt, questioning the process followed in partnering with the Triumph International Group (TIG) to review registration of births and deaths.

The GRO had fallen under the purview of Rohee, while he was home affairs minister in the former government. And while he denounced the recent remarks by Felix during a press briefing yesterday, he said, “The public would like to know how transparent the process was in hiring the Triumph International Group to do a legislative review of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act.”

The PPP general secretary said Felix had spoken about transparency and corruption, but TIG, the firm hired to review the Registration of Births and Deaths Act to achieve 100 per cent registration of births in Guyana, was not well known and neither was the process of hiring the firm which was facilitated with the assistance of UNICEF.

Rohee said, “The public would like to know how far, and at what stage are these two or one project and whether a consultative process is anticipated to involve national stakeholders.”

He told members of the media that he had not been very successful in researching TIG.

Rohee stated that the government’s implementation of a Civil Events Registration System (CERS) which is intended to produce electronic birth and death certificates was in keeping with an initiative that was to be implemented by the PPP should they have once again assumed political office.

He said that though Felix speaks about corruption at the GRO the minister has failed to identify that using the postal service as a buffer between the public and the GRO, corruption under his (Rohee’s) tenure was “almost non-existent.”

He said that as the former minister he left behind competent staff and chastised Felix for speaking so ill of his current staff.

Rohee’s comments about staving off corruption comes after his predecessor Gail Teixeira acknowledged that her office was inundated by US Embassy reports that there were fraudulent passports and birth certificates being circulated which were substantiated with evidence.

Former PPP home affairs minister Ronald Gajraj is suing Teixeira for defamation over statements she allegedly made about him which were contained in a US diplomatic cable released by the WikiLeaks website.

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