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By Dale Andrews and Zena Henry Members of sister Joint Services organisations are viewing with interest,China NBA Jerseys, the move to the court by four Guyana Defence Force officers to challenge the withholding of their annual bonus by Chief-of-Staff Commodore Gary Best.Officers from all the other Joint Service organizations – Guyana Fire Service (GFS), Guyana Police Force (GPF) and Guyana Prison Service (GPS)  – who spoke to this newspaper, have expressed surprise at the position that the Chief-of-Staff continues to take and are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the court action.Chief-of-Staff Commodore Gary BestThey believe that the ruling of the court could have a significant impact on how their organizations treat with the matter of the annual one-month bonus payment in the future.Last year was the first time that accusations of withholding the bonus payments surfaced.Senior officers in the GPF, GFS and the GPS have indicated that never before have their agencies withheld any of the bonus payments from any staff member for whatever reason.“We have never withheld anybody’s bonus,” a senior officer of the Guyana Police Force told Kaieteur News. “Even our internal awards are not subjected to such stringent considerations,” the officer added.This position was echoed by officers of the Guyana Fire and Prison Service.“Except they are absent,” said an officer of the Prison Service.The initiative to grant members of the Joint Service a one-month salary bonus at the end of the year was started by former President Bharrat Jagdeo in 2002, as a reward for their work at the beginning of a potentially crippling crime wave. At the time, the President did not attach any conditions to the payout.Commodore Gary Best in defending his decision to withhold the bonus from some of his officers had stated that poor performance was one of the main reasons, adding that similar action had been taken in the past. He had explained that commanding officers of the various GDF departments had submitted lists with the names of persons who had underperformed and had recommended that they should not be paid the bonus.Over 100 members of the GDF were said to have been affected by the decision.Among the officers who were to be affected were those who were absent without leave (AWOL), those who were involved in accidents with the force’s vehicles and those who sold duty-free vehicles before the stipulated time.“This is not a one-man show and it is not a task for the chief of staff,” Commodore Best was quoted in the media as saying recently.Four officers have sued the GDF chief of staff, who has been ordered by the court to justify withholding their bonuses.The four officers, Commanding Officer, Major (ag) Lesley Ramlall; Staff Officer Operations and Training, Captain Rono Joseph; Staff Officer Personnel and Training,Wholesale Jerseys From China, Captain Harold Fraser and Coast Guard Lieutenant, Officer Commanding  Maritime Law Enforcement Division, Andre’ Cush,  via their attorney Abiola Wong-Inniss, have accused Commodore Best of unreasonably, unlawfully and unfairly withholding their bonuses.The court document said that Best’s decision was based on improper or irrelevant considerations and breached the rules of natural justice.Ramlall and Fraser stated that during the year 2012,Jerseys From China, there were no charges instituted against them. Ramlall said that in January of 2013 he was charged with respect to allegations pertaining to the performance of his duties while attached to GDF Credit Union in 2011. Those charges he said were never determined.He said that on February 20 2013, he was again served with the same charges which are currently pending. The Major said he was further served letters informing him that he would go on administrative leave and that he was suspended from the Committee of Management of the GDF Credit Union.Both matters were however quashed by the courts on October 29,Wholesale NFL Jerseys Online, 2012. Ramlall further charged that he engaged Colonel Lovell MSM via mail to resolve the bonuses non- payment, but there was never a response to the letter.Captain Joseph said that administrative action was taken against him in 2012 for what was referred to as “Inappropriate relationship with a female.”  Cush said he was in 2012 charged for insubordinate behaviour, but is yet to be prosecuted.Apart from the allegations, the Officers also said that they were never formally told that their incentives were not being paid,Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, neither were they afforded the opportunity to be heard on the issue.On these grounds, the plaintiffs said they were advised that the Chief of Staff had no discretion or authority to withhold payments whether they had disciplinary issues in 2012 or not and therefore his decision was conceived in both perversity and contrary to the provisions of the Defence Act, Chapter 15:01.Chief Justice Ian Chang after reading the motion, however, ordered that on March 19, Chief of Staff Commodore Best will have to answer the matter against him and give cause as to why the court should not quash his decision to withhold the Officers payments.A former Chief of Staff said that the office of the Chief of Staff has certain powers due to the Defence Act,Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, but making such a decision to withhold money granted by the President would be a matter for the courts. The former army head said that he would think that Commodore Best would have put much thought into the issue before making a decision. Some officers insist that Best made a decision within his capacity while others said withholding officers’ bonuses was not his call.
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