A call is being made for the government to review the appointment of Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) President Patrick Yarde as acting Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) due to the concern that it may be a conflict of interest for him.
Jermaine Hermanstyne, a member of the Change Team that had campaigned in the recent election against Yarde, told Stabroek News last week that the powers vested in Yarde through his recent appointment to act as Chairman of the PSC is a conflict of interest in light of his position in the union. He urged that President David Granger look closely at the decision and understand its implications for public servants. “The GPSU, they are supposed to protect the interests and the rights of workers when it is being abused, and the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, that person has the authority to demote, promote, fire and hire. Now, how is it that you as an individual can be representing people and on the same hand, the same person that you’re supposed to be representing, you have the authority to dismiss them, hire them, promote them or demote them; this in itself is a major conflict of interest,” Hermanstyne said.
Hermanstyne also stated that as the decision was made to suspend Carvil Duncan as Chairman of the PSC while he had matters pending in court, the same action should be taken regarding Yarde as a matter of principle since he and the union’s executive is facing a legal challenge over the GPSU’s finances.
On October 12, 2016, President Granger suspended Duncan, who has since challenged the decision in court. That challenge is still pending.
On May 4, Yarde was sworn in by President Granger as the acting Chairman of the PSC.
A statement from the Ministry of the Presidency noted that this automatically makes him an exofficio member of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), the Police Service Commission and the Guyana Defence Force Commission’s Board.
Yarde was sworn in as a member of the JSC on Wednesday.