- as transferral of several offices planned for 2019
A new Board for the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been reviewed and approved at the level of Cabinet, even as Government assures the current Board is operating effectively.
This is according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who was at the time being quizzed by the parliamentary Opposition on various allocations to his Ministry. He noted that approval was granted at the last Cabinet meeting for the Board.
“As far as I know, the Board is properly composed and is functioning. In fact, I think two days ago the new Board was discussed at Cabinet and approved,” Jordan stated, in response to questions from the Opposition.
While the Board has been approved, it is unclear who will comprise the new Board. Efforts by <<<<Inews>>>> to contact senior officials, including Minister of State Joseph Harmon, were futile.
Meanwhile, $113.7 million allocated under project code 1202200 also came under scrutiny. When asked by Opposition Member of Parliament Irfaan Ali about this allocation, Jordan noted that the monies are for the construction of an annex on the site of the old Guyana National Cooperative Bank (GNCB) Sports Club.
“The awarded cost of this building is $228 million and the difference you see (in the estimates) has to do with the generator for the main office, including the purchase and associated electrical works.”
“The existing headquarters of the Ministry of Finance has outgrown space (with) the number of activities and staff. So the new building is a three storey building. First of all we will move the valuation division, which you know is in a very decrepit building.”
According to Jordan, the current housing of the valuation division has limited its true potential. He said that with the housing of the valuation division in better conditions, they can hopefully recruit better staff.
“One floor or part of the floor, we will use for a (document) centre,” Jordan explained. “There is so much documentation at the Ministry of Finance, thrown all over the place. And we’re running out of space. So we’ll attempt to scan and put a modern documentation centre there.”
“We’ll move the training room from the head office and put it there and make it a modern training room with modern facilities for better conferencing, which will ease on the trips and the phones. And then of course, it’s important for sports. So we’ll use a small part for a sports club and a little gym, to keep people healthy and promote social cohesion.”
It is understood that the new, multimillion-dollar annex will be located at Winter Place and Croal Street, Georgetown. It is understood that Courtney Benn Contracting Service is involved with the project.