The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) is
alarmed and dismayed at the appointment of
retired colonel Chabilall Ramsarup as Head of
the Customs and Trade Adminis-tration (CTA) and
says he should do the right thing and step down.
"We are concerned about the
unsuitability of Colonel Ramsarup to function
effectively in this office since he has no
previous association or experience in this
department which he is appointed to head, as
required by the job description known to
us," the GPSU said in a statement read at a
press conference yesterday.
"In addition we are concerned that Ms
Ingrid Griffith, who has been acting as
Commissioner, was overlooked for appointmentâ€¦,"
the GPSU said. It added that during the period
Griffith acted she not only performed
effectively, but "revenue targets of the
department were exceeded" by hundreds of
millions of dollars.
"In our view it was reasonable to expect
that Ms Griffith would, in the circumstances,
have been seriously considered for appointment
as [Lambert] Marks' [Commis-sioner of Customs]
successor," the statement said.
The union also expressed the concern that no
rationale or reasonable explanation has been
given for her not being considered. And it
hinted that the reason she was overlooked might
be political or because of her gender or her
race. "These questions must be asked,"
the union said, adding "one must take a
deep look at the blatant and insensitive
political conduct of the administration when
dealing with matters involving the national
interest, when efficiency and effectiveness
should be the major criteria for
The union said it had nothing personal
against Ramsarup, rather its concern was with
the frustration of the legitimate expectations
of Griffith and others in "the apparent
lack of transparency, fairness and equity in
It said the manner in which the appointment
was made created an undesirable precedent.
"There was no advertisement; no invitation
to applicants; no interviewing; no regard shown
for the serving staff. It was all done in a
clandestine manner," the statement said.
It added that the appointment undermines the
legitimate expectations of those who are
competent to be favoured on the grounds of
meritorious service, and advance within the
hierarchy of the department on this basis. It is
also capable of having a serious deleterious
effect on morale throughout the GRA and the
GPSU President Patrick Yarde said there was
no consultation with the union before Ramsarup's
appointment and if Ramsarup does not do the
right thing and step down, then he is also
complicit in the irregularity.
He said Ramsarup did not have the
requirements set out for the post of
Commissioner of Customs, which calls for, among
other things, ten years experience in Customs
work and thorough knowledge of the Customs and
tax laws. Moreover, he said that convention
dictates that if a person serves for at least a
year in an acting capacity, he or she, once
unfettered by complaints about his/her
performance, could move up.