What happened to the 2004 Urban Development Programme?

Dear Editor,

In 2004 the Inter-American Development Bank funded a project titled the Urban Development Programme (UDP), the objective of which included a comprehensive revision of the property tax system of the six existing municipalities; and restructuring the management and operational systems for an upgraded Valuation Division.

Its implementation involved the use of then state-of-the-art technology that allowed every single property in the six municipalities to be viewed and recorded in sufficient detail as to facilitate an accurate evaluation of each property, with the ensuing data being carefully recorded by a number of well qualified technical personnel.

The UDP’s offices were sited at the corner of Broad and Smythe streets, Charlestown, where the hub of cross-county activities was coordinated by a very proficient team of managers, including Godfrey Williams, engineer; Walter Flatts, engineer; and Hugo Curtis, who coordinated the broad technical aspects of the valuation programme.  The records would show that a completely new property tax regime was successfully structured for implementation.

As it turned out, it was the consultancy firm of S V Jones Associates who instituted the required Human Resources Management Develop-ment systems of the projected relevant new organizational arrangements. It is worth noting that the Chief Valuation Officer at the time was none other than my LSE contemporary, Dennis Patterson, father of the current Minister of Public Infra-structure. Needless to say, like so many other consultancy projects of those times, the Urban Development Programme was never implemented. It remained dormant, with the Valuation Division being engulfed by the Ministry of Finance.  The indications are that the report has never been found, or heard of in that ministry.

Yours faithfully,

E B John


Lowe’s conclusion on case before CCJ was spurious

Dear Editor, In reaction to Mr Sherwood Lowe’s letter  captioned ‘Mendez has shifterd the CCJ gaze from Article 1 to Article 9 of the Constitution’ appearing in the Stabroek News of the 20th March, 2018, I would wish to submit that in my respectful recall the learned counsel for the Respondent in Richardson v Attorney General and Trotman asseverated that, in the absence of a credible definition of the terms “democratic” and “sovereignty” in Articles 1 and 9 of the Guyana Constitution, the court was required to construe these terms.

A stint in Parliament does not prepare anyone for proper management of a government ministry

Dear Editor, Our system of government is supposed to be the Westminster system, but it is not in use in Guyana today.

This society needs to embrace more liberated and progressive thinking

Dear Editor, Milton Bruce’s letter ‘The Editor-in-Chief makes all the decisions’ (SN, March 20) refers.

Realistic solutions not rhetoric are needed to bring relief to the sugar workers

Dear Editor, Regional Executive Officer of Region Six, Ms Kim Stephens, is reported in the March 19, 2018 Stabroek News, during her remarks at the ceremony to honour the Rose Hall Martyrs on March 13, 2018, “that that severed sugar workers are ‘timid and afraid’ of diversification”.

Government did not provide $68M in the national budget for the IDPAD conference

Dear Editor, It would be remiss of me not to address the Guyana Times article of March 9, 2018: ‘Govt yet to receive report on $68M IDPAD conference’, since it is either a malicious article or one in which the author is wallowing in ignorance.


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