Guyana: Post flood recovery update - Illegal registration at Den Amstel, Region 3

Georgetown, GINA, June 13, 2005 - Head of the Planning Recovery and Implementation Secretariat Robeson Benn has written to Pastor Rudolph Holder, Dem Amstel, Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara), who has accused Benn of authorizing him to use ordinary paper for registering persons seeking Government's flood relief assistance.

Pastor Holder also alleged that Benn gave him the authority to register persons seeking the $10,000 flood relief grant indefinitely.

Benn in his letter to Pastor Holder stated, "I would be happy if you could please turn over to the bearer, Mr. Terrence St. Hill, my driver, the household $10,000 declaration forms you have in your possession for validation by the Secretariat.

You may recall that the arrangement made for the collection of declarations, is related to declarations made and finalized on the Sunday, 29th May, 2005, with an additional 40 declarations forms provided on Monday, 30th May, 2005, to cover for 25 dec1arants whom you identified from the previous evening.

Do note that, declarations are acceptable for validation only when they are official forms numbered in seriatum or, are the red-stamped Office the "President Declaration Forms delivered by the Recovery Planning and Implementation Secretariat".

I would be happy to be able to compensate you and your assistant for the day's effort on Sunday, 29th May, 2005 as was arranged.

Please note that I have received, through the kind courtesy of His Excellency, President Bharrat Jagdeo, a letter and a number of forms which originated from you.

I would be happy to discuss your letter and any of the above issues on Monday, June 13th, 2005 at 5.00 pm or at any other time mutually convenient."

The Secretariat Head informed GINA that a large number of forms received from Den Amstel were discovered to have tampered numbers and dates; while some were photocopies of the original forms and from areas considered ineligible for flood relief.

In addition to the 40 forms, 400 declaration forms were delivered to Pastor Holder on May 29.

Registration continued until June 2, and it was revealed that registrants had to pay $100 to register - $20 for the form (photocopied), $40 for the form to be filled and another $40 to get the retainer's slip.