Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall today asked what had become of the online edition of the Official Gazette which had been inaugurated under his tenure in 2013.
The Gazette has not been published for several weeks now. Its last edition is October 22. It was from the online edition that the public first learnt of the government’s intention to compulsorily acquire two plots of land on Carmichael Street. Following reports by Stabroek News on this, the government has since abandoned the plan.
A statement by Nandlall follows:
In 2013, as Attorney General, I piloted a Bill through the National Assembly to publish the Official Gazette Online, and to give legal validity to the online version of the Official Gazette. This was an initiative which I included in the Modernization of the Justice System Project, which was funded by the IADB.
Two employees of the Ministry of Legal Affairs were identified by the Project Coordinator and sent oversees for training to implement and administer this initiative on a daily basis. When the Bill became law, the Official Gazette begun to be published online every Friday evening. This was made possible through a collaborative relationship which I established between National Printers Ltd and the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
This initiative was deeply welcomed and appreciated both locally and internationally. At the click of a button persons, living all over the world were able to access, weekly, the important information published in the Official Gazette. More particularly, it offered property owners who are oversees, an opportunity to see whether their properties in Guyana are being fraudulently sold, or whether persons are applying for prescriptive title in relation to the same. Every conveyance of immovable property and a notice of every application for title by prescription are required by law to be published in the Official Gazette. A great volume of other important information is also published in the Official Gazette.
The two staff trained to administer this system, have both been politically and/ethnically cleansed from the Ministry, over the last few months. For several weeks now, there has been no publication of the Official Gazette Online. This is absolutely unacceptable. The Attorney General is answerable. This is another blundering act of incompetence.