[www.inewsguyana.com] – After receiving complaints from staffers at the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson is set to introduce a memorandum to cabinet to ascertain government’s position on polygraph testing and whether the practice can be ditched.
Patterson told reporters at a press conference on Saturday, August 08 that the staffers at GEA complained of the pass rate and the fact that the questions were general hence they could not be construed to infer any misgivings on the part of staff members.
The Minister indicated that since polygraph testing was introduced in 2009, some 72 tests were done with thirty-six persons failing to pass the lie detector test.
Those thirty-six persons in addition to another two were relieved of their duties at GEA. The additional two were dismissed after they objected to taking the polygraph.
“After discussions with the GEA they are of the opinion that the polygraph testing is necessary and helpful. They were unable to provide any empirical data but noted that there was a reduced number of complaints or evidence of fraud,” said Patterson.
He said that the results of the tests have left a permanent scar on the records of those dismissed, noting that polygraph testing is not a recognized legal way of informing on factual events.
“They also complained that they never saw the results of the tests…the results went directly to former HPS Dr Roger Luncheon and then forwarded on to the CEO of GEA with recommendations,” said Patterson.
When asked about his personal opinion on the issue, Patterson stated that he does not believe that polygraph testing is the best option.
“I find it difficult to see how that can be an assertive way to determine if anybody is credible or not,” said Patterson who noted that greater supervision and staff rotation may curb corruption.