first_imgIn light of recent developments in Region One (Barima-Waini), Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is calling for an audit to be done on the digitisation of records at the General Registrar’s Office (GRO).Jagdeo’s comments came in light of recent pronouncements made by Citizenship Minister Winston Felix, who claimed that the process is transparent and one that does not include partisanship.However, the Opposition Leader feels that there might be attempts to fiddle withOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeothe registration process at the GRO using the digitization of records as the cover for “fictitious names being registered, which could then be used, (seeing) that it is registered with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).”Jagdeo said he would also urge GECOM to pay careful attention to the issue, because the integrity of that entity’s data base would depend heavily on the source documents being issued by the GRO.“But (it is) not just GECOM that has to worry, but all the foreign embassies and everyone else; because if people have fake Guyanese documents and some of them are not Guyanese, they pass through here and just get the fake documents for the purpose of registration, they can eventually secure passports and a whole range of other documents,” Jagdeo opined.The Opposition Leader is asserting that the integrity of the disgitisation process is vital.“We in the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) are paying careful attention to this, given what has happened historically — that the heavy padding of the voters list with fictitious names was a norm under previous Government sometime back in our history,” Jagdeo recalled.He also reminded that the Opposition is still concerned with the Government’s closeness with groups of people, including Haitians who pass through Guyana. He said that from reports that he has received, these foreign nationals are mainly chaperoned through Guyana by Government officials.“It’s normal for people to transit your country, but they don’t have ministry officials meeting them when they are transiting. They just come in, they get stamp in at immigration and (then) they go out,” he added.Jagdeo said encounters with Government officials and Haitians transiting Guyana’s main port of entry are something that does not look too convincing, and there might be something happening.Region One Chairman, Brentnol Ashley, has only recently raised concerns about the active participation and involvement of Government Member of Parliament (MP) Richard Allen in the affairs and functions of several State agencies and elected bodies in the Region.Ashley complained about MP Allen’s active involvement with the GRO visiting team issuing birth certificates in the Region, and had noted that the MP was not employed at any of those agencies.While Ashley has said he commends the work of the GRO in reaching out to Region One with the objective of ensuring the people of the Region are registered, he has questioned the transparency and equality of treatment due to MP Allen’s apparently being “embedding” in the team’s day-to-day operations and process regarding the issuance of birth registration.Ashley went on to disclose that he has even received reports of Allen personally distributing birth certificates in bulk to people in various communities.With Local Government Elections due this year, birth registration documents are critical for the registration of voters, and in the past, the toshaos and other community leaders had been the ones who worked with the GRO team, since they were knowledgeable about the eligibility of residents in their communities.However, the Regional Chairman pointed out that the fact that “Allen (is) accompanying and directing the GRO team as to who needs birth certificates and subsequent distribution of birth certificates is highly questionable and suspect”.In addition to the MP’s access to such personal and sensitive documents, Ashley went on to highlight that Allen has been distributing pension books, despite the Social Protection Ministry’s objection to anyone other than staff members doing so.last_img read more

first_img…as Govt promises full digitalisation by 2020Government has committed to offering 200 services online to citizens as part of its ICT manifesto promises, while the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is urging more inclusionary policies for youth to advance the sector.At an IDB-sponsored training summit at the Marriott Hotel on Friday, IDB Regional Head Therese Turner-Jones, in addressing the participants, urged Government to avail itself of youth innovators.It has been pointed out that youths have led the data revolution in other countries, and those countries have gone on to achieve some form of economic prosperity. As such, transforming the sector can be expedited by more involvement of youths.“We have more young people today than we (will) have in, say, 2030… young people are thought to be the agents of change. We also know that young people are much more wired to their technology than, say, those over 60. So I thinkAttendees at the summit, which was held at the Marriott Hotelthere’s a lot of promise in (them),” Turner-Jones pointed out. Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes also addressed stakeholders. According to Hughes, ordinary citizens and businesses would, by 2020, be able to access public services online.“So imagine your driver’s licence application (or) that application for a TIN number; all these services can be done online, and therefore we have to start heading in that direction… And the private sector, you are going to be left behind also if you continue to do this the old way,” she related, as she stressed that the private sector should therefore avail itself of technological opportunities to improve customer service.Meanwhile, IDB Country Representative Sophie Makonnen stressed the need for countries to keep up to date with advancing technologies. With new technology, Makonnen noted, there are new ways to solve old problems, such as with health care.A few days ago, stakeholders were introduced to the concept of exponential technologies (ET) and their importance in developing small economies like Guyana’s.A presentation was made by Dr Nicholas Haan, the Track Chair and Vice President of Impact at Singularity University (SU). SU is a Silicon Valley think-tank that offers educational programmes and serves as a business incubator.During his presentation, Dr Haan pointed out that, in recent years, there have been major technological transformations which have created opportunities for agencies to rethink the way they serve people.“Humanity is currently witnessing, at this very time, a major transformation never ever seen before; a transformation into a digital era where every single one of our social systems – our food system, our energy system, our health system, our government system, etc – every single one of those is being transformed by technology and other global trends.“This creates incredible opportunities if you’re leading a corporation or if you’re an entrepreneur, and it creates incredible opportunities for Governments around the world to rethink the way to best serve the populace,” Dr Haan posited.He went on to talk about how exponential technology has advanced and developed over recent years to create new concepts such as artificial intelligence programmes that operate in real time with no human control and 3D printing. IDB’s Senior Specialist on State Modernisation, Mariko Russell, had said that the idea behind hosting this presentation was to highlight how accessible and beneficial exponential technologies can be for local enterprises.last_img read more