By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Recently appointed Ombudsman, Attorney- at- Law and former Judge, Winston Moore was on Monday (January 13) sworn in by President Donald Ramotar.
Guyana was without an Ombudsman for approximately eight years following the retirement of Justice Sheik Mohamed in 2005.
At the swearing in ceremony, Moore said there appears to be some misgivings regarding the office of the Ombudsman as was reported in the media. The Opposition, following the announcement in December by the Government had raised concerns regarding the provision of resources and staffing for the office.
Moore said that following his appointment, discussions regarding staffing and resources were held between himself and senior Government Officials. The Attorney said he in turn submitted a list of requirements to the Ministry of Public Service all of which have been met.
He further noted that several persons who had worked at the office in the past have opted to return. “I have no qualms or misgivings as to staffing and resources.”
Meanwhile, President Donald Ramotar said it was a momentous event taking into consideration the amount of time the office has been without an Ombudsman.
“A lot of the work of this office was taken up by the Constitutional Court but we needed an Ombudsman.”
The President said he hopes that Guyanese will make full use of the Office of the Ombudsman not that it is up and running. The Opposition had been pressing the Government over time to have all Constitutional Offices that were vacant, including that of the Ombudsman filled.
In this regard, President Ramotar said that the hope of his administration is to have all other vacant posts filled in the near future.
“I want to congratulate you and wish you well. You have the full support of the government in the discharge of your duties.”
The duties of an Ombudsman are to investigate complaints and make attempts to resolve them. Ombudsmen sometimes also aim to identify systemic issues leading to poor service or breaches of people’s rights.