Linden Mayor flouts law, sends Town Clerk on admin leave

first_img– Minister Bulkan silentIn clear violation of the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01, Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland on Thursday decided to unilaterally send Town Clerk Jenella Bowen on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, which is before Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan. Only the Communities Minister in the absence of a Local Government Commission is vested with the power to make that decision.Holland and the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LMTC) had passed two no-confidence motions against Bowen and subsequently wrote Minister Bulkan requesting she be removed. But Minister Bulkan is still to make a decision, which seemingly angered Holland, prompting him to decide to take his own action against the Town Clerk.Linden Town Clerk Jenella BowenGuyana Times has seen a letter dated October 6, 2016 that Holland wrote to Bowen, instructing that she proceed on administrative leave with immediate effect until the conclusion of “the hearing”.“Please be informed that the Ministry of Communities has reviewed the Council’s recommendation and granted no objection,” the letter copied to Communities Ministry Permanent Secretary Emile McGarrel and the LMTC Personnel Officer stated.It went on to highlight that the LMTC proceeded in accordance with the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:0, Section 8 A, Subsection G, which states that the Council shall “ensure that the municipality is managed in a professional and competent manner by a qualified Town Clerk” and Section 8 A, Subsection H, which states that the Council “shall perform any other duties or functions imposed on the Council by this or any other law or by the Council”. Subsequently, the Mayor; his deputy, Waneka Arrindell and two senior Police Officers reportedly showed up at the home of the Town Clerk and demanded that she hand over all of the Council’s belongings to them.However, nowhere in the cited act is the Council given the authority to discipline or remove from office the Town Clerk.When contacted, Bowen told Guyana Times that she made attempts to contact Minister Bulkan, but those attempts were unsuccessful; however, she was able to speak with Permanent Secretary McGarrel who advised that she comply with the instructions of the Council.McGarrel confirmed this to Guyana Times , but stated that his advice was to defuse any possible “physical” confrontation. He declined to answer any other question on the issue.Efforts to contact Minister Bulkan proved futile, as calls to his office and mobile phones went unanswered. But a call to his residence was answered and after a prolonged delay, Guyana Times was told he was not at home at that time.Bowen said she has since sought legal advice on the way forward, but could not say if she would report for duty today.The Mayor’s action was deemed unconstitutional, since Section 118 of the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01 clearly states that in the absence of a Local Government Commission, the Communities Minister holds the power to appoint, discipline and disappoint any Local Government Officer.Section 120 of the Act states; “The power to exercise disciplinary control over Local Government Officers (including the power to remove them from office) shall be exercised by the Commission or other person or authority in whom such power is vested under Section 118 or Section 119 in accordance with any rules pertaining to discipline made by the Commission under Section 114.”Section 121 adds that where a Local Government Officer is disciplined, including removal from office by anyone other than the Commission or its designate, the officer can appeal that decision, which the Council or its designate can confirm, set aside or vary any finding on such persons or authority and to confirm, quash or vary any penalty awarded.Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, in an invited comment on Thursday evening, said that Town Clerks, like Regional Executive Officers (REOs), are creatures of the Minister and it is only him who can discipline or dismiss them.He said what was playing out at the Linden municipality was purely authoritarian action by the Mayor and his gang.“Again we are witnessing authoritarianism and a clear violation of the rule of law. The municipality has no authority to discipline or dismiss the Town Clerk: the Town Clerk is a creature of the Minister,” Nandlall, a respected lawyer, opined.He said the actions by Holland and others in Linden and the silence of Bulkan may very well be a sign of the Minister’s weak leadership skills.The spat between Bowen and several Councillors, including Holland and Arrindell, began after she accused the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of spending over $500,000 on travel expenses from the already depleted coffers of the Town Council.The Linden Town Council has not met in more than two months and when contacted last week, Holland told Guyana Times that he was unable to get a quorum for the meetings as Councillors were anxiously awaiting Minister Bulkan’s ruling on the Town Clerk.last_img read more

Japan Journal: Avoiding jet lag on the trip to Tokyo for A’s baseball

first_imgTOKYO, Japan — Konnichiwa!That’s about the extent of my knowledge of the Japanese language, unfortunately. But the good news is I have arrived in the land of the rising sun for MLB’s Opening Series between the A’s and Mariners.There are plenty of things I’d like to explore out here and will share with all of you by putting together these journal entries throughout the week.But they say the journey is just as important as the destination and the journey I’m coming off of is quite a unique …last_img

Next Generation Microchips Inspired byNature’s Nanotech

first_imgAn article in ComputerWorld1 reports that Hewlett Packard, IBM, Fujitsu, and Texas Instruments are putting effort into developing nanotechnologies for chip manufacturing based on a principle found in nature: the tendency of matter to fall into predictable patterns as molecules assume low energy states. There aren’t many structures that can be built today, but researchers are finding new ways to manipulate molecules all the time. IBM has been using self-assembly in a capacitor, and HP Labs have self-assembled 10-atom wide conductive wires.Self-assembly—the tendency of certain structures to fall naturally into patterns—is one of nature’s most common occurrences. On a grand scale, for example, wind direction, temperature and moisture in the air result in predictable types of storms.Now think smaller—much smaller. Certain molecules combine without guidance in predictable ways.  “Some molecules recognize each other and find natural low-energy states,” says W. Grant McGimpsey, a biology professor and director of the Bioengineering Institute at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)1 Steve Ulfelder,“Molecular Self-Assembly: Nanoscale circuits build themselves, breathing new life into Moore’s Law,” ComputerWorld, pg 28, 5 September, 2005.Certain molecules in nature recognize each other and combine into predictable patterns as they settle into low-energy states.  This fits very nicely with the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the formation of snowflakes, but is exactly the opposite of what evolutionists claim happened three or four billions of years ago on Earth at the origin of life.  Biological RNA and DNA are not mere crystals or repetitive patterns.  They are highly volatile and energetic, requiring cellular machinery to build and maintain.  Most important, they contain genetic information not derivable from the atoms of which they are composed nor from the laws of physics that describe how their parts interact.  In contrast, “Self-assembled materials form very simple patterns,” said one of the engineers.  Though ordered, these materials do not specify anything.  Though the article spoke of “natural self-assembly,” there was no mention of evolution – good, because evolution and engineering don’t logically mix.  Neo-Darwinian evolution is unguided and purposeless; the engineers here were harnessing natural processes toward intelligently-designed, functional ends.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa lures BPO investors

first_img9 January 2007“The BPO sector is not just the flavour of the month, but one which will help to move South Africa further up the value chain and become a knowledge economy,” Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka told industry leaders in London as the country launched a bid to market itself as an international destination for business process outsourcing.A high-powered delegation of BPO industry experts from South Africa, led by Mlambo-Ngcuka, presented industry leaders in London with a business case for outsourcing to South Africa at a special seminar at the SA High Commission in London in December.South Africa’s value propositionTrade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa, in his keynote address on “South Africa’s value proposition for business process outsourcing,” said that while it took time for a developing country to develop a track record, South Africa had more than risen to the challenge. This article was first published by Reconnect Africa, an online careers and business magazine for professional Africans around the world.“South Africa has the largest economy in Africa, the most industrial development on the continent and the most educational and training institutions,” he said. “We have had 12 years of sound economic management, and we have a growing economy which has yet to realize its full potential.”With mature and established institutions in the banking, insurance and telecommunications sectors, SA has the business foundation needed for high-value outsourcing opportunities.The country already has a vibrant BPO industry, with around 70 operations and 80 000 people employed in contact centres and back offices in the major centres. Centres of excellenceReconnect Africa speaks to Mfanu Mfayela, CEO of the SA Contact Centre Community, about why SA is becoming a BPO destination of choice.Key factors in SA’s favour are its time zone, which falls comfortably within European time zones, as well as its English-language capacity.“South Africa is not necessarily competing with the cheapest, but it is comparable with many operations in the UK and Europe,” Mpahlwa said. “We can combine superior quality with high cost savings.“We have a set of distinctive assets, a first call resolution higher than other lower cost destinations and a large, well-educated labour pool.“We produce 300 000 school leavers and 100 000 graduates a year from world-class universities and we have a low budget deficit, sound infrastructure and the cheapest electricity prices in the world.”The minister also cited the benefits of South Africa’s highly attractive lifestyle, which has encouraged the immigration of diverse nationalities and communities, offering a range of language capabilities to benefit the BPO sector.Government incentivesPromoting business process outsourcing in South Africa fits squarely with the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for SA (Asgi-SA), the goverment’s strategy to raise economic growth to 6% and halve poverty and unemployment by 2014.The government, working closely with the industry, recently developed a five-year plan to strengthen the industry by deepening the talent pool and creating financial incentives for investment. Calling the Cape – Not just a holiday destination, Cape Town sets its sights on call centre investment. Read the full story on Reconnect Africa.“Substantial training assistance, a skills development programme and a learnership scheme will be made available to companies that locate their operations in South Africa,” Mpahlwa told the London seminar. “Companies will get cash grants, tax deductions and the acquisition of work-ready talent.”On the cost of telecommunications in SA, the minister said that deregulation and promotion of competition was the way to achieve lower prices, adding that a five-year, R30-billion investment by state company Telkom as well as a BPO dispensation on pricing were in the pipeline.Also addressing the seminar, Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka emphasized the government’s programme for “removing entry barriers that we, as government, are responsible for.”Constraints had been identified in the areas of infrastructure, transport logistics and telecommunications, Mlambo-Ngcuka said. “We are addressing the costs and ensuring that in three to five years, South Africa will not be the same place as today for these services.”The Deputy President pointed out that while South Africa has a population of 45 million, as a key member of the Southern African Development Community it offers access to a market of 200 million people.“BPO is not just the flavour of the month,” she said, “but a sector which will help South Africa to move further up the value chain and become a knowledge economy.”IBM, Shell case studiesThe seminar also heard case studies on offshoring in South Africa from representatives of IBM and Shell.Shell’s case study highlighted the quality of service provided by its operations in South Africa.“It’s not about cost reduction but about finding good value – although there are also cost benefits,” said Julian Davis, Shell’s programme director for global customer services.Mteto Nyati, director of global technology services for IBM in South Africa, told the seminar that South Africa was “at the centre of IBM’s new strategy,” which involves creating global shared services and centres of excellence in seven strategic locations around the world.The company is moving many of the high-value services it provides to its clients – including household names such as Boots and ABN Amro – to South Africa, where it currently employs over 1 500 staff“South Africa is not a normal call centre location but a highly technical environment where highly skilled people are managing complex IT issues,” Nyati said.This article was first published by Reconnect Africa, an online careers and business magazine for professional Africans around the world.last_img read more