Chronology of incompetence
Posted By Stabroek staff On June 2, 2009 @ 5:01 am In Editorial | 8 Comments
If, as Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon claimed last week “Security Sector Reform will go on with or without the Brits,” why hasn’t it been going on for the last sixteen-and-a-half years that he has been in office? The fact is that, for most of the last decade, the Guyana Government had been begging the British Government for help to reform the security sector but it has not been evincing the competence to implement the policy recommendations which have been made.
In response to the Guyana Government’s specific request in 2000, the United Kingdom Department for International Development commissioned a strategic review of the Guyana Police Force which produced the comprehensive Guyana Police Reform Programme, known as the Symonds’ Report. President Bharrat Jagdeo travelled to London in 2002 and personally met the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to seek security assistance. In 2003, a UK Defence Advisory Team visited and produced yet another report to improve the Police Force.
In 2004, a UK police team trained 100 members of the Tactical Services Unit to become the core of this country’s proposed Special Weapons and Tactics strike force. The President personally met Baroness Valerie Amos in 2006 and agreed on a Statement of Principles which became the basis for the present round of security reform; the same year, another team conducted a study of the Police Force. In 2007, yet another team conducted a further study that led to the Security Sector Reform in Guyana report. A task force from the National Policing Improvement Agency International Academy then came to begin to implement the action plan.
On the Guyanese side, the administration had taken the trouble to disband its own National Security Strategy Organising Committee in 2000; to shelve the report of the Border and National Security Committee in 2001; to temporize on the Disciplined Forces Commission report in 2004; and to launch, then ignore, its National Drug Strategy Master Plan in 2005. The Police Force itself was encouraged to establish a Task Force on Organisation Change but the administration discountenanced funding or full-time staffing and that was disbanded.
There has been no shortage of reports and recommendations. The problem, clearly, has been one of Guyanese incompetence or insincerity in implementing security sector reform. It was with this background that in 2007 Dr Luncheon and the British High Commissioner Fraser Wheeler signed an interim memorandum for the Security Sector Reform Action Plan to improve the Police Force’s operational capacity. The present phase of the controversy began in 2008 when a framework for the “Formulation and Implementation of a National Security Policy and Strategy” was concluded to upgrade the interim memorandum to a permanent agreement. Subsequently, in April this year, the UK advised that the design for reform was approved.
After a decade of inability to establish competent local mechanisms to implement reform, Dr Luncheon suddenly claimed to be offended at the proposed British involvement in implementing the agreement which seemed to suggest “that Guyana is totally incapable of managing its own Security Sector Reform and needed to be spoon fed.” At this stage, the British High Commissioner Fraser Wheeler blurted undiplomatically that he was dissatisfied with the delay in implementing the reform plan, accusing “some persons” in the administration of “quibbling about administrative details.”
Dr Luncheon, who has been one of the principal “persons in the administration” responsible for managing the process over the past decade, has now written to President Jagdeo requesting that he be relieved of responsibility for concluding the agreement on the Security Sector Reform Project with the British Government.
To save the process, the President should approve the request without delay.
8 Comments (Open | Close)
8 Comments To "Chronology of incompetence"
#1 Comment By Biswattie Ramsawak On June 2, 2009 @ 7:04 am
chronology of incompetence indeed. The PPP is all show and no tell.
#2 Comment By badlall (DRUG BARONS RUNNING THE GUYANA ECONOMY) On June 2, 2009 @ 10:09 am
They don’t want outside help -meaning British Police working alongside members of the Guyana Police. The King wants to have total control and does of the Police. Britain please take your money back to another caricom country that is willing to see drug barons prosecuted or extradited.
#3 Comment By Andy On June 2, 2009 @ 11:13 am
Having resigned from the NIS board shortly before it became public knowledge that CLICO (GY) was about to tank with a substantial amount of money from the NIS, and now that he is seeking to resign from the Guyana-Britain security reform deal because of a real or manufactured fritction between the Guyana and British Governments on the reforms, I am getting the impression that Dr. Roger Luncheon is actually looking to disappear permanently. Does he know or suspect something bad is coming down the pike and so he is looking for the first opening to bolt? But how can he be absolved from anything that happened in the Jagdeo regime in the last ten years? The man was the virtual Vice President of Guyana!
#4 Comment By R.H. Carr On June 2, 2009 @ 2:24 pm
Is it not ironic that Dr Luncheon et al have no problem swallowing the IDB, IMF and World Bank swill.Yet, they complain about the British.Who do these folks think they are fooling?
This is the same govt that follows the IMF prescription, surrendering managament of the economy to these foreigners, and now find fault with the designs of the British. Why not explain to the people why they cannot reduce VAT and or bring additional goods under the zero rated regime.
#5 Comment By danny deAbru On June 2, 2009 @ 6:30 pm
SN,evaeyone is free to give their opinion & comments,including your edition.Keep getting it on and good luck.
#6 Comment By Pantha On June 2, 2009 @ 9:38 pm