Finance seeks new Chief Planning Officer, Deputy Finance Secretary after resignations

-national tender board CEO’s contract not renewed

Donald DeClou

Following the resignations of its Chief Planning Officer Dr. Nelson Modeste and Deputy Finance Secretary (DFS) Louise Bouyea and the non-renewal of the contract of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) Donald DeClou, the Ministry of Finance has advertised for the vacant positions to be filled.

The shakeup did not come as a shock to staff, who told Stabroek News that the employment turnover rate at the ministry is among the highest in the public sector.

This newspaper understands that the trend is likely to continue and that Finance Secretary Dr Hector Butts’ contract, scheduled to expire in October, will also not be renewed.

On its website and in the July 25th edition of the Stabroek News, the Ministry of Finance advertised the three posts.

Louise Bouyea

Almost one year into his three-year contract, Modeste, tendered his resignation, which sources close to him said was due to internal problems he faced at the ministry. He had taken up the post in August of 2017.

According to the advertisement for the position, the office holder, who should have a PHD in Economics, would be required to design and administer a Comprehensive Economic Development programme in relation to the national development needs of Guyana; design and manage the Public-Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) for Guyana; and prepare a comprehensive Economic Cooperation Policy.

“The Chief Planning Officer provides technical and managerial leadership by ensuring that national development priorities are identified, resources are available to achieve targets, and outputs are on schedule and technically sound. The Chief Planning Officer will advise Cabinet on the formulation and implementation of macroeconomic and sectoral policies and provides continuous assessments of the existing socioeconomic framework as well as missions/negotiations undertaken for development programming assistance and performance reviews. The Chief Planning Officer, also, provides technical advice on primary areas for sustainable economic, social, and environmental development. The Chief Planning officer collaborates with the Finance Secretary to facilitate the secretarial services,” the ad says of the functions of the post.

Nelson Modeste

Bouyea, who would have spent more than two decades working at the ministry, also gave notice, with her last day on the job being June 30th.

Apart from serving in a supporting position to the Finance and Permanent Secretaries in the running and oversight of the ministry, the office holder will be required to efficiently and effectively coordinate the financial management and accountability of the ministry as defined in the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act and Procurement Act and regulations and circulars, the Audit Act, and the Stores Regulations, with specific reference to Tender, Concessions and Losses, Insurance and Data Processing.

Key outputs, according the advertisement, are decisions on divisional matters that are the Deputy Finance Secretary’s responsibilities e.g. Insurance issues/Tender Board etc.; presentation of Government policy to local/international bodies; advice to Departments/Agencies on issues with financial management and accountability implications e.g.: decisions relating to granting of specific fiscal concessions at individual/group level; and reports, briefs for Finance Secretary on various issues e.g. tenders for major contracts.

Bouyea was also a Director on the Board of the Guyana Sugar Corporation during the Clive Thomas Chairmanship

Meanwhile, the contract of DeClou, who is another veteran at the ministry and the man who held the lead position as CEO of the NPTAB since its establishment in 2004, was not renewed this year. It was renewed in 2015 for three years.

The person who replaces him is being offered a five-year contract. A job description for the position says that the NPTAB’s CEO would be required to implement the government’s procurement policy compliance with the Procurement Act and Regulations as directed by the Chairman of the National NPTAB.

The qualifications and experience required include an MBA and five years of business processes/workflow and data analytics or similar experience or a First degree in Public Administration, Economics or similar field with 10 years of business processes/workflow and data analytics or similar experience. It says formal public-sector 21st century procurement training or experience within public financial management would be an asset.

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