National Assembly Clerk, Opposition Leader clash over Local Gov’t Bills

Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs
Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs and Leader of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), David Granger have locked heads as it relates to the recently passed Local Government Bills.

Earlier today, Granger urged the Clerk to fulfill the obligations of his office by sending four bills to President Donald Ramotar for his assent.

In response, Isaacs stated that the four Local Government Bills were submitted to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel at the Attorney General’s Chambers to ensure that all of the amendments made by the relevant Parliamentary Select Committee and the National Assembly were inserted.

Isaacs explained that several queries were made and to date the Chief Parliamentary Counsel has not returned the Bills to him.

“I checked with the Attorney General’s Chambers on several occasions and was told that the Bills were/are still receiving the attention of the legal draftsmen.”

Leader of the APNU, David Granger.
Leader of the APNU, David Granger.

He reminded Mr. Granger that the Parliament Office does not have a legal draftsman to ensure that the amendments are properly inserted after Bills are passed.

“You would recall that there was a number of complex amendments which required a legally- trained person to insert in the Bills after they were approved by the National Assembly,” he said.

According to the Clerk, the Parliamentary Management Committee has recommended that a legal division be created at the Parliament Office to deal with Bills after they have been passed by the National Assembly.

In the absence of such a division the office has traditionally sought the assistance of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to ensure that all amendments are correctly inserted before a Bill is presented to the President for his assent.



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