…REO says actions affecting region, operations of RDC
REGION Nine’s Regional Chairman, Bryan Allicock, is refusing to acknowledge the Regional Executive Officer, Carl Parker, who was reinstated by the government amid objections by the opposition-appointed councillors, on the grounds that he is disrespectful.
But on the other hand, Parker is accusing the regional chairman of crippling the administration’s operation by withholding his signature, when finances are being sought from the Regional Economic Fund, and failing to hold statutory meetings bi-monthly as required. Parker said the regional chairman has been abusing government’s resources to carry out political work on behalf of his party – the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
On Monday, Parker said since his return to Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) as the REO on January 7, 2019, the regional chairman has refused to engage him on critical issues concerning the development of the region.
Parker noted that since March 9, 2019, the council has not had its statutory meeting. Instead of meeting with the council, Allicock has been out campaigning for the PPP/C.
The action of the regional chairman, Parker said, is hurting the region. “The RDC has to meet and discuss issues so that the administration could take corrective measures, but as it is right now, my officers have to be going looking and meeting with residents. We have regional councillors across this region, there are supposed to be bringing these issues for discussion and resolution so that we at the administration can take corrective actions within the ambit of our budget,” Parker explained.
The REO said, added to that, the regional chairman has been withholding his signature. He explained that in the absence of an ‘Imprest,’ the Regional Economic Fund, which is under the control of the chairman, is used to facilitate trips and other operational activities, however, when advances are sought; the regional chairman withholds his signature.
NOT RECOGNISING REO
The regional chairman, in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, confirmed that he is not recognising Parker as the REO. According to him, Parker is a disrespectful individual, who fails to put aside politics in the execution of his duties.
In an attempt to give greater insight into the internal problems facing the Regional Democratic Council, Allicock furnished the Guyana Chronicle with two letters – one addressed to him by the REO, and another, which entails his response.
In a memo dated February 4, 2019 addressed to the regional chairman, under the subject title – Misuse of Government Resources, Parker expressed several concerns, including not being able to meet with the regional chairman.
“Your prolonged absence along with that of your vice-chairman’s has virtually crippled the work of the administration since advances applied for cannot be processed without either or both signatures. In addition to the absence of yourself and vice-chairman, I am aware that government’s resources, both material and finances, are being used by your office to promote your party’s programme and also to spread social disorder among communities of the region,” the REO told the regional chairman in the memo.
In that memo, Parker urged that Allicock desists from the abuse of government resources, warning that failure to do such, would result in him (Parker) utilising his power to block any abuse.
“Consequently, I am requesting that systems [be] put in place to have the administration have access to the Economic Funds for routine administrative purposes,” Parker wrote.
In his response on February 8, 2019, the regional chairman told the REO that he had no authority to write him a memo, and accused him of failing to uphold the ethics of the profession. According to him, the REO was, and continues to be disrespectful. “As the Clerk of Council, you are supposed to report to me and not vice versa,” Allicock told Parker while reminding that he (Allicock) is the elected official and the head of this region. He stated that Parker has no respect for his office, which appears to be his “routine practice.”
Meanwhile, in justifying his absence from office, Allicock said he has been visiting villages cross the region in keeping with a plan he had since 2018. He said instead of carrying out the functions of the REO, Parker has been on the campaign trail ridiculing the Office of the Regional Chairman. He also accused the REO of stripping him of his vehicle but said such actions would not prevent him from executing his functions, noting that he now utilises his personal vehicle and that of his party – the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
However, it was explained that the regional chairman is still in possession of a Prado which was bought for him in 2016. What was taken from him was a second vehicle (a NISSAN) which he took from another regional official to complement the Prado.
On Monday, Allicock said he is not prepared to work with Parker and will not acknowledge him as the REO. While the day to day operation of the RDC is being affected, it has not reached the stage where multimillion dollar projects are being affected. Contracts for these projects are still at the tendering stage.