REGIONAL Executive Officer(REO) of Region 3, Denis Jaikaran yesterday confirmed that he has taken a decision to slash the fuel allowance usually allocated to the Toyota Land Cruiser being used by Regional Chairman Julius Faerber, but which belongs to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).The Chairman, Deputy Regional Vice Chairman and several other persons employed by the council picketed the RDC office yesterday over what Faerber said was the non-cooperation of the REO.
Jaikaran, however, denied those claims and stated that the Chairman wanted him to be engaged in activities which were not in keeping with his mandate as REO and were outside of the policies of the Ministry of Communities and by extension the Government of Guyana.
According to the REO, he will continue to act within the ambit of the law and in the interest of Region 3 to guard against the use and abuse of State resources for political purposes as the Chairman, allegedly, has been doing.
The Guyana Chronicle was told by the REO that he took the decision to reduce the gasoline allowance for the vehicle since he has come by information that the Land Cruiser is being used by the Regional Chairman to carry out work for the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic and even on the council’s time.
10 GALLONS PER DAY
Jaikaran said that when he came to the council he met a system in which the vehicle for the Chairman was being allotted 10 gallons of gasoline per day but, to his mind, that amount is far too much given the little amount of driving that the vehicle is required to do on a daily basis. So he has reduced the quota to five gallons per day.
“For me the five gallons are adequate for the day based on the works to be done within the region and I am told otherwise (but) I will just leave it as that. Any additional gasoline is not to do work within the region and I will not be wasting government resources for works to be done out of the region or extra time to do political work and I stand by that,” Jaikaran told the Chronicle.
However, Faerber told this publication, “He has cut my fuel to half from 10 to five gallons of fuel per day. Some of the days I go out in the field I run out of fuel, I have to take taxi to come to work, join the regular minibus or I have to take minibus to go home.”
Meanwhile, Jaikaran noted that all vehicles and assets of the region come under the supervision of the Regional Executive Officer who is also the accounting officer of the region who will have to give answers for the resources of the State and how those are distributed and used.
The REO warned that he also has the power to withdraw the vehicle from the Chairman and replace it with a more fuel-efficient vehicle should the Chairman continue to complain about the vehicle not having enough fuel to do the very short runs it usually makes.
“If I find out that the vehicle is going to consume at a very high rate that we cannot maintain, I might consider the possibility of withdrawing it and placing it back into the pool to be used for near runs so to speak. In that way we would be able to maintain the level of gasoline consumption,” the REO said.
Meanwhile, Faerber said that the position taken by the REO has effectively prevented him from carrying out his duties as Chairman and more so as the representative of the people who voted for the PPP/C.
“I am an elected official – I am 24/7, how can I not visit my people during the weekends so that was another issue,” he lamented.
By Leroy Smith