By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] –Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker maintains that the Overseer (ag) of the Plaisance/Industry Neighborhood Democratic Council (NDC) and the woman villagers have endorsed to be confirmed in the position is wholly unqualified.
Whittaker told a news conference this morning [Monday, October 13] that Debra McDonald has three CXC subjects with grade four passes; adding that the position requires a person to have five CXC passes, must be computer literate and have some amount of experience.
His remarks come at a time when there are stinging criticisms against the Ministry’s appointment of Carol Sooba as Town Clerk (ag), who is also allegedly unqualified for the position.
“Some people seem to feel that a grade four in CXC is a pass. So while the woman acting did have three CXC, they were grade four… that may be good for some types of employment,” Whittaker added as he ruled her out as an eligible candidate to fill the position.
He recalled his meeting with the Council on Friday last, which he said was invaded by villagers and had to be ended prematurely.
The Minister said there are several things in the public domain concerning the issue that are totally false; clarifying that Ms. Mcdonald has indeed been working with the NDC for 15 years but has only been acting in the position for the last three months.
“Plaisance wasn’t singled out… residence there cannot insist on someone from the village filling the post… suppose other NDC say if you not from the area you can’t work? We have set standards that work across the 65 NDCs and we couldn’t go against those standards.”
Whittaker claimed he could not judge Mcdonald’s performance since she has only been acting for three months.
“A lot of what she did was guided by our staff here, that time will not allow me to judge her competence… she did not work long enough as Overseer acting to allow us to make any determination,” Whittaker added.
He provided this answer when reminded that he had defened Sooba when her appointment as Town Clerk was rejected on the grounds that she was unqualified.
He had said then that qualifications should not be the only consideration and that person’s competence should be taken into account.
Meanwhile, the Minister said the appointment of Orlando Jardine is currently being reviewed.
He explained that this followed protest action by residents where it was alleged that Jardine was involved in illegal activities.
“Such information needs investigation but I’m assuring you that he has qualifications,” he added.