Following his appointment on Friday as Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of the National COVID-19 TaskForce (NCTF), Joseph Harmon has since been removed as Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency.
Only last week, caretaker President David Granger had distanced himself from claims by Harmon that government had hired Washington-based lobbyist firm, JJ&B LLC.
While the Head of State denied any affiliation with the lobbyist firm, the dossier that was filed late March listed the Guyana Government as the ‘foreign principal’; the Ministry of the Presidency was named the agency that is being represented by the firm; and Harmon, was named as the official with whom the company engages.
Nevertheless, the President’s Office today (Saturday, April 25, 2020) revealed that Harmon is no longer the Director General.
See below for the full statement from the Ministry of the Presidency:
Georgetown, Guyana (April 25, 2020): The Ministry of the Presidency wishes to clarify that Mr. Joseph Harmon is no longer performing the functions of Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency.
President David Granger has appointed Mr. Harmon Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Task Force (NCTF).
The President made this announcement on Friday. As CEO, Mr. Harmon under the general or specific directions of the Chairman of the NCTF is to establish a permanent National Task Force secretariat; assign permanent staff to manage the national campaign; create preventive measures against the disease to safeguard citizens’ health and collaborate with regional task forces and stakeholders to safeguard citizens’ health.
The CEO is responsible, under the direction of the Chair, for directing the NCTF operations and restarting interrupted activities; all important logistics measures necessary to prevent the disease from spreading further, directing rapid responses to unexpected and emergency incidents; developing short-term plans for disease prevention and safety of the people and communicating directly with agencies, ministries, regional task force, agencies and stakeholders.
The CEO is responsible also for disseminating accurate information with regard to COVID-19 to the public.