The Commissioner of Information matter has been sent to President David Granger.
Briefing the media today, on the deliberations of Cabinet, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said that the matter which was previously engaging the attention of Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, was handed over to the President due to concerns from the Prime Minister.
Harmon said that the Prime Minister is responsible for the laying of constitutional reports in the National Assembly and receives reports from constitutional entities.
According to Harmon, the Prime Minister has reported that the matter is no longer under his control because under the Act, the contract of employment for the commissioner falls under the presidency.
“The concern which had been raised by the Prime Minister is that the Commissioner has not presented reports for a number of years,” Harmon indicated.
Prior to the President taking over the matter, Prime Minister Nagamootoo had taken an interest in the issue. But after 20 months, he had still been unaware of what was done by Ramson since he took the position.
Commissioner of Information Charles Ramson SC, was quoted in the media recently as saying he strongly believes that efforts are being made to frustrate his work even as he has vowed that he will continue to function and will resist any attempt to force him out of office.
Despite the lack of staff, stationery, equipment and a proper office, Ramson says he is still engaging members of the public and organizations. Ramson, a three-time Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, has also accused Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo of putting a “spin” on what is contained in the Access to Information Act to conceal his own dereliction of duty.
Ramson, during a recent interview with the Stabroek news at his temporary office located at his East Street property, insists that the Act states that it is Nagamootoo, as the Minister of Information, who has to prepare an end-of-year report and submit same to the National Assembly, not him.
According to a GINA report, Harmon pointed out that “the Commissioner of Information is a person who the public must have access to and he should be the person who gives information…but the Commissioner of Information is locked away from the public and could not have been performing his duties.”
Minister Harmon said the matter remains under consideration.