Westford opposed to Parliamentary Counsel for National Assembly

Former Public Service Minister, Jennifer Westford.

By Kurt Campbell

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

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Public Service Minister Jennifer Westford has opposed what she says would be a change of the current structure of Parliament to include a Parliamentary Counsel.

Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs recently wrote to Westford asking for the attachment of a legal mind – in the form of a parliamentary Counsel – to the National Assembly.

Westford told reporters that currently the structure of the National Assembly does not cater for such a person.

“What exists is a Chief Parliamentary Officer and a Deputy attached to the Attorney General Chambers” she added.

She said if there is a need to increase the staff for the department that can be done, however she cannot envision the crafting of a new structure to include a legal counsel.

In recent times there has been objection from the opposition against the sending of bills and other legal documents to the Attorney General Chambers for fine tuning, since the AG is also the Minister of Legal Affairs.

The Clerk has also come under considerable pressure from the Opposition for what they said was a stall in forwarding of the recently passed four Local Government Bills to the President for assent.

Isaacs explained however that the bills had to be back and forth between the AG’s Chambers and the Parliament for vetting and correcting which was in effect time consuming.

The bills are yet to be sent to the President for assent having been passed in the National Assembly on August 7.



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