March 14 ,2021
…annual allowances total $13.4M
The Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh is paid a monthly salary of approximately $2.054M together with annual allowances totaling $13.4M, the Committee of Supply in the National Assembly heard on Wednesday as it considered a $4B subvention for GECOM under Recurrent Expenditures.
In responding to a series of questions posed by A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Member of Parliament, David Patterson, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira detailed that in addition to the approximately $2.054M paid to the GECOM Chair, she receives a National Insurance Scheme (NIS) allowance of $46,224, a duty allowance of $4.368M, telephone allowance of 648,000, electricity allowance of $960,000, security allowance of $7.2M, and fuel allowance of $240,000 per annum – a total of $13,462,224 in allowances.
The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance also disclosed that each of the six commissioners – Desmond Trotman, Sase Gunraj, Vincent Alexander, Bibi Shaddick, Charles Corbin and Manoj Narayan – all receive a monthly salary of $478,485. Collectively, those salaries total $59.1M annually.
With the exception of Commissioners Gunraj and Narayan, who are below the age of 60, Government pays $46,224 to NIS for each of the other four Commissioners on an annual basis. NIS fee for Gunraj and Narayan is highly due to their age.
However, each of the Commissioners receive an annual telephone allowance of $360,000, and security allowance of $7.2M. They do not receive electricity and travelling allowances.
Deputy Speaker, and the lone Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) Member of Parliament in the House, Lenox Shuman, asked the Government’s Chief Whip to disclose the salaries paid to the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield; the Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne Myers; and the Returning Officers.
In response, Minister Teixeira disclosed that from January to March, 2021, the CEO received a total salary of $3.5M, while from March to December 2020, he received a total sum of $14.7M in salary.
The CEO gets an annual traveling allowance of $120,000, entertainment allowance of $360,000, gratuity of $787,648, vocational allowance of $1.4M, and uniform allowance of $120,000 – a total of $25M. Additionally, his security allowance is $6M.
Similarly, the DCEO receives approximately $6M per annum in salary, $258,854 for NIS, travelling allowance of $204,000, entertainment allowance of $1.6M, acting allowance of $483,888, gratuity of $1.362M, vocational allowance of $865,216 and uniform allowance of $120,000.
Returning Officers, according to the Minister, would receive $148,000 each for a period of two months, for those working within the 70 Neighbour Democratic Council (NDC) areas while those operating within the 10 municipalities are to receive $250,000 – totaling $19.6M and $5M respectively.
The 83 clerks to the Returning Officers will each be paid $100,000 each during the upcoming Local Government Elections, totaling $16.6M, while the clerks to the ARO, will receive $85,000 each, a total pf $7M.
MP Shuman would then ask the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, whether there are provisions in the budget proposed for GECOM to pay off the CEO to allow for an “early exit” to allow for a “clean elections in 2021.”
In response, the Minister explained that regardless of the person holding the post, GECOM has budgeted sums to cater for their salary and allowances.