By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Parliamentary Select Committee considering amendments to the Anti – Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill is scheduled to meet at noon on Monday (February 10) in a bid to complete the report of the Committee so that it can be presented to the Full House at a sitting set for 14:00hrs.
The likelihood of this being accomplished is unknown at this point especially since there were three major amendments made to the Act at the weekend by the Opposition members in the Committee to which Government has objected.
According to Chair of the Committee, Gail Teixeira the proposed amendments are to the principal Act and is not within the parameters of recommendations by the Caribbean financial Action task force (CFATF).
She explained that two of the amendments deal with the Financial Intelligence Unit and how the Director of that Unit is appointed. At the moment, the principal Act gives the authority to the Finance Minister to appoint the Director, however according to Teixeira, the APNU is proposing that the Director be appointed through Parliament.
“This goes against the model used in Commonwealth countries, where the Director is appointed by the Minister of Finance. CFATF did not ask Guyana to make any change to those sections,” Teixeira told iNews.
The other amendment has to do with expanding the power of Police and Customs Department to arrest persons found with over US$10,000 in their possession.
Meanwhile, the Alliance for Change (AFC) in a press release moments ago while reiterating its support to the Bill maintained that its support is hinged to the setting up of the Constitutionally mandated Public Procurement Commission.
“The AFC maintains that passage of the AML CFT Bill on Monday without the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission is a half-baked attempt to stem the flow of illicit gains” a statement noted.
The Government is pushing for the completion of the amendments for a possible mid-February review by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) after its latest ranking of countries in terms of its level of delinquency for implementing measuring to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has ranked Guyana as the highest.