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October 14 ,2020

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-as part of dismantling of agency

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government has dismantled the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) and terminated the services of its 42 employees including its Director Dr Clive Thomas and Deputy Director Aubrey Heath-Retemyer.

“The PPP/C Administration stated very early on after assuming office that it will close operations of the SARA office. Today, letters were dispatched terminating the employment of the staff of this Agency,” Attorney General Anil Nandlall said in a statement issued yesterday.

He explained to Stabroek News that since all employees had been engaged on contract rather than the fixed establishment it was not possible for them to be transferred to a different agency.

https://s1.stabroeknews.com/images/2020/10/Retemyer-Termination-1-scaled.jpg

“The contracts have to be terminated before they can be hired in other agencies,” he stated.

He however assured that government would enact legislation utilizing the CARICOM model of State Asset Recovery so as to strengthen the asset recovery components of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation in line with Guyana’s laws and constitution.

SARA was established via the SARA Act of 2017 to allow for the non-conviction-based asset recovery, for unlawful conduct and corrupt practices in relation to property and other assets owned by the State, or in which the State has an interest. This recovery was to be undertaken by way of civil proceedings in the High Court for a civil recovery order. The focus is on the property and not on the individual who holds or has an interest in the property.

According to Nandlall not only is the Act which established SARA unconstitutional but the previous administration failed to adhere to its dictates when it appointed the Director and his Deputy.

The Act provides for the appointment of a Director and a Deputy Director by a simple majority of members of the National Assembly on the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments (PCA).

It specifies that the terms and conditions of appointment of the Director and the Deputy Director, including their tenure of office, are to be determined by the PCA with the appointment spanning a period of not less than three years and not more than five years, renewable.

The AG specifically highlighted that fact that Thomas and Retemyer appointed themselves and determined their term of office, in complete disregard and violation of these provisions; a fact which was mentioned in their termination letters which were made public along with their contracts.

Each letter stated that the “appointment via contract is in breach of the State Assets Recovery Act of 2017 and is therefore null and void.” The two men’s services were terminated immediately.

The AG reminded in the statement that while in Opposition he had filed a legal challenge to these appointments. The case is still engaging the Courts.

Also mentioned was the comprehensive challenge to the act itself which was filed by public commentator Ramon Gaskin within days of its assent.

“The challenge impugned approximately 90 of the 107 Sections of the Act, as being unconstitutional and in flagrant violation of the separation of powers,” he said, adding that the matter is pending before the Chief Justice, awaiting decision.

Nandlall argued that from the moment the Bill became public it evoked widespread criticism from the political opposition, as well as many civil society organisations, such as the Guyana Bar Association, the Private Sector Commission and the labour movement.

“The contentions were that the Bill was too oppressive, Sections had unlawful retroactive effect and that many of the provisions collided with the Constitution, including those Articles that protected the fundamental rights of citizens in relation to property and protection of the law,” he stated.

Nandlall went on to note that though his predecessor Basil Williams held a few public consultations none of the nearly 100 amendments were incorporated into the bill.

Further he argued that the Agency though operational for years has achieved “nothing…but has gobbled up close to $1B in public funds in salaries, wages, rent and operational expenses.”

Additionally he noted that the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) has been able to win a judgment against SARA which negated all other actions taken by the agency.

Justice Franklyn Holder ruled that SARA is not a corporate entity and as such it cannot sue or be sued by such a name. The judge found that since the commencement of the Act, no director has ever been appointed and none by construction of the provisions of the Act.

“The Court ruled that only a director; a duly authorized officer was empowered by Section 40 of the Act to institute proceedings of the nature sought to acquire the land from GBTI,” Nandlall stressed, adding that although, the court raised the issue, counsel for SARA did not seek an Order to substitute a possible authorized officer within the description of Section 2 of the Act so the case was struck out and every other action filed by SARA is bound to fail due to the defect identified by the Court.

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@Django posted:

Gov’t terminates 42 SARA workers

October 14 ,2020,   Source

-as part of dismantling of agency

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government has dismantled the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) and terminated the services of its 42 employees including its Director Dr Clive Thomas and Deputy Director Aubrey Heath-Retemyer.

“The PPP/C Administration stated very early on after assuming office that it will close operations of the SARA office. Today, letters were dispatched terminating the employment of the staff of this Agency,” Attorney General Anil Nandlall said in a statement issued yesterday.

He explained to Stabroek News that since all employees had been engaged on contract rather than the fixed establishment it was not possible for them to be transferred to a different agency.

Hopefully the money/salary saved from the operation of SARA will be used for effective purposes.

Clive Thomas will go down in history as someone that looked out for Clive Thomas. He got all sorts of perks from the gov't, and benefits piled on top, and did zilch. He should be smiling all the way to the bank with Guyanese taxpayer monies. How pathetic!  

@lil boy posted:

Clive Thomas will go down in history as someone that looked out for Clive Thomas. He got all sorts of perks from the gov't, and benefits piled on top, and did zilch. He should be smiling all the way to the bank with Guyanese taxpayer monies. How pathetic!  

I can't forget his article that he wrote lambasting Indians for not eating with knives and forks. He also wrote that Indians are not socially inclined.

Thomas days are over, he belongs in a Nursing Home. I attended his lectures early 70s he was ok then.

SARA  was established to park old PNC it'es . Thomas was absent at many meetings,  he has health issues.

‘1 billion spent and not even a pencil recovered’ – Nandlall on scrapping SARA

https://i1.wp.com/www.inewsguyana.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/clive.jpg?w=640&ssl=1

The now disbanded State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) was a “politically toxic” organisation and a “parasite on the backs of tax payers” which gobbled up close to one billion dollars with nothing to show what is has accomplished over the past five years.

This is according to Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, who was at the time detailing the reasons for the PPP/C Government moving ahead with scrapping the Unit and terminating over forty employees.

“The only thing they (SARA) have done is to file legal proceedings; and all are defective…all would have been lost or will be lost when they are ruled upon,” he expressed during a recent programme he hosted on his social media page.

Nandlall reminded that then President David Granger himself was forced to admit publicly that they couldn’t find any evidence of state assets being stolen to prosecute anyone.

“Not a lead pencil, or pen was recovered,” he said, adding, “why should the Government keep an organisation like that.”

SARA, Nandlall contended was “plundering the treasury and becoming a parasite on the backs of the Guyanese people.”

The Attorney General explained that the agency was renting a building for $2.1M monthly on Main Street, Georgetown, adding that the tenancy never went to public procurement. This, he said, was in addition to massive salaries for staff and huge overhead costs the agency incurred.

According to Nandlall, when the APNU/AFC Coalition took the reigns of power in 2015, “they persuaded themselves that there was massive stealing of state assets under the PPP/C administration” and they subsequently commissioned over a hundred forensic audits.

However, he explained that the forensic audits, which costed tax payers millions of dollars, did not produce a single case of the “stealing of state assets” under the PPP/C administration as the Coalition had claimed.

He highlighted that “in that mad mood that they were in” the Coalition created the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) which was a precursor to SARA, and it was housed in the Office of the President and staffed with politically-aligned persons.

The top ranking SARA officials included; Clive Thomas and Tacuma Ogunseye, two of the leaders of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) – a constituent of the APNU/AFC coalition – and Eric Phillips, a political advisor to former President David Granger.

“Right away that was a politically toxic organisation, and it began only to hunt politicians,” Nandlall told viewers.

https://i1.wp.com/www.inewsguyana.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/anil3.jpg?resize=696%2C464&ssl=1Attorney General Anil Nandlall

According to the AG, it was during that time that several PPP/C Government officials, including himself,  were arrested and charged without any basis.

Subsequently, SARA was established via a Bill in the National Assembly. However, he noted that from the moment the bill became public it evoked widespread criticism from the political Opposition, as well as many civil society organisations, such as the Guyana Bar Association, the Private Sector Commission and the labour movement.

He explained that to weather the storm, the former Attorney General, Mr. Basil Williams S.C., held a few public consultations “which turned out to be placatory and futile as over one hundred (100) amendments were recommended, but none were incorporated into the bill.”

Within days of its assent, a comprehensive constitutional challenge was mounted against the State Assets Recovery Act No 14 of 2017, by public commentator, Ramon Gaskin. The challenge impugned approximately 90 of the 107 Sections of the Act, as being unconstitutional and in flagrant violation of the separation of powers. That issue is still before the Chief Justice awaiting a decision.

Nandlall added that Thomas and Aubrey Heath-Retemyer, a member of the PNC-USA group, arrogated the power to appoint themselves in gross violation of the SARA Act, as Director and Deputy Director of SARA, respectively.

“Messrs Thomas and Retemyer appointed themselves and determined their term of office, in complete disregard and violation of the aforementioned provisions. An action was filed in the High Court challenging their appointment and that action is also pending,” the AG said.

“If they are illegal, then all forty (other employees) are illegal,” he argued.

Nandlall on Tuesday indicated that the PPP/C Government closed down SARA and dispatched termination letters to its employees.

He outlined that the Government will undertake to strengthen asset recovery components of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism  (AMLCFT) legislation as well as enacting legislations utilising the Caricom model of State asset recovery, in respect of State assets acquired illegally. He noted that this model legislation is in consonance with the laws and the Constitution of Guyana.

A long time ago I mentioned the ridiculousness of APNU forming SARA in order to catch all illegalities carried out by the PPP and doing absolutely nothing about it. Those who backed the APNU/AFC govt were all delighted when SARA came on the scene, expecting action but they had nothing to show as we now see.

@Ramakant-P posted:

Nandlall and company stole all the pencils and gave them to their children.

Didn't Nandlall prove he is capable of doing such a thing when he got caught with hands in the sperm jar?

@cain posted:

Didn't Nandlall prove he is capable of doing such a thing when he got caught with hands in the sperm jar?

@Ramakant-P posted:

He sure did.

With your "no" answer above, you now showing me why dem guys does say you chupidy banna but I won't..is a ole people ting with loss of memory, so you are forgiven.

We should try a Gofund Iman page so you could buy cases of Sanatogen.

Last edited by cain
@cain posted:

You now showing me why dem guys does say you chupidy banna but I won't..is a ole people ting with loss of memory, so you are forgiven.

I thought that it was Ramjat they were talking about. My memory is still intact.

@Ramakant-P posted:

I thought that it was Ramjat they were talking about. My memory is still intact.

@Ramakant-P posted:

Nandlall and company stole all the pencils and gave them to their children.

You my man, are the one who mentioned Nandlall, so you thought it was Ramjat you talking bout? You talking to a smatman here so doan come back with stupidness.