The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is moving forward with advertising for a new Chief Election Officer (CEO), Deputy CEO and other key positions that are currently vacant within the commission.
Kaieteur News understands that on Tuesday, Chairman of GECOM, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh, met with the elections Commissioners and agreed to advertise seven vacant posts.
These posts include: Office of the Chief Election Officer/Commissioner of Registration, Deputy Chief Election Officer/Deputy Commission of Registration, Assistant Chief Election Officer/Assistant Commissioner of Registration, Logistics Manager, Civic and Voter Education Manager, Legal Officer and Chief Accountant.
Draft copies of the vacancy advertisements have been examined and approved by members of commission. Among them is the advertisement for CEO which requires candidates applying for that post to have a Post Graduate Degree in Public Administration, Law, Management or relevant discipline from a reputable and recognised institution, and specific training and verifiable experience in managing election systems, along with at least 10 years experience in a senior management position overseeing and directing diverse operations aimed at achieving targets within specific deadlines.
Additionally, candidates would need at least 10 years experience in Management of National Elections and Election Systems.
While no decision has been made as to when the vacancies will be advertised and for how long, the Commission will commence advertising the vacant posts, however, it agreed that the vacancy notices will be placed in all of the national local newspapers, and on all of the licensed radio stations in Guyana.
Just a few weeks ago, this newspaper reported that the staff deficiency at GECOM was starting to take a toll on its operations.
People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) appointed GECOM Commissioner, Bibi Shadick, had disclosed that the absence of key personnel at the secretariat can see the operations of the Elections Commission “grinding to a halt”.
Shadick had pointed to the absence of key managerial staffers at GECOM such as the Chief Accountant and had explained the impact of the post remaining vacant.
“We have rent payments for buildings that GECOM occupies around the country, outstanding since January. We don’t know when the landlord will say time’s up for GECOM, they want their building…,”she said.
She revealed at that time that the Commission has been in discussion over the issue of filling the vacancies but the officer responsible for providing the information has been slow in responding to the requests of the commissioners.
“There are quite a few vacancies for senior positions. We have been demanding the detailed job description for the positions but the HR Manager has been slow in providing the information.”
Further, the PPP/C appointed commissioner said that GECOM’s plans to host Local Government Elections later this year may be aborted.
“Personally, I don’t see that happening. Local Government Elections cannot be held if we don’t have any of the necessary personnel. We have no registration commissioner; no one to sign off on ID cards, there is no Chief Election Officer to do the necessary preparations in time for an elections, at year end,” she said.
Shadick’s comments had followed a notice published by GECOM to the public explaining that it has temporarily suspended the production of National Identification (ID) cards due to a vacancy for a Commissioner of National Registration. The national ID card is used as a proof of identity, and citizenship in the conduct of business transactions, if such proof is required.