The Minister of Public Health and chairperson of the PNCR is reported to have stated that priority would be given to party members in the award of government contracts and in the employment of persons in government. This is an extraordinary statement coming from a Minister and former chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee who served in the latter position for almost a decade. One recalls the 1970s and early 1980s when a person seeking employment in government had to first become a member of the PNC and in possession of a party card. That policy, apart from reeking in discrimination against other sections of the population, proved disastrous as many of the highly skilled and competent persons migrated, leaving behind a depleted public service. It also contributed in no small measure to a marked deterioration of the economy so much so that by the mid-1980s Guyana was unable to meet its debt obligations and became technically bankrupt.
Our well-respected business icon, Dr. Yesu Persaud, in a column in the Stabroek News of 6 August 1991, asserted that ‘[i]f our economy is going to turn around, let me repeat, there is ABSOLUTE NEED to find the MAN FOR THE JOB and not the other way around’. He went on to state that:
Accountability is an indispensable element of Democracy, of Government and Business; it is also indispensable to Civilisation, for a country which runs without accountability is not a civilized nation, and an ‘unaccountable’ person is also an uncivilized person.….