By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – As the Public Service Commission Of Inquiry (COI) commenced on Tuesday September 22, it was revealed that under the previous administration, the Public Service Ministry had a direct hand in who was selected to be awarded scholarships.
This was revealed by the head of the Scholarship Programme, Syinka Grogon during questioning by the Commissioners Professor Harold Lutchman, Sandra Jones and Samuel Goolsaran.
Grogan told the Commissioners that the Agency which she heads is responsible for the preparation of a spreadsheet which would then be sent to the Public Service Ministry. The spreadsheet prepared would include a general profile of the applicants for the scholarships.
She explained that thereafter, the agency would receive a response from the Ministry that would detail the shortlisted applicants and the agency would proceed with the interviewing of applicants.
When asked whether the Former Minister, Jennifer Westford would make the shortlist herself, Grogan said that she could not confirm such since the documents would be forwarded to the Ministry but she was unsure of the process once it arrived there.
Under further questioning, the Agency Head stated that sometimes she would question the persons shortlisted for the scholarship programme as opposed to other persons that applied and were not granted the scholarship.
She was also asked of the perquisites for the scholarships to which she stated that for the most part, the requirements are defined by the donor agencies. If a person selected for a scholarship does not meet the minimum requirements, the government would attempt to make some representation on behalf of the applicant.
Grogan is recommending that this practice which has been in place for some three years now, be abolished. She stated that a return to a committee short listing of the applicants would do well for the administering of scholarships.