GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) -- Guyana’s attorney general and minister of legal affairs, Anil Nandlall on Tuesday responded to opposition leader David Granger, who said last week that his party is committed to the passage the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill before the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) meets again in May.
“Mr Granger has said nothing that the nation has not heard from him over the last ten months,” Nandlall remarked.
He reminded that it was not until the night of Sunday, February 9 (the last night available to the select committee in order to meet the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) deadline that the APNU came forward with proposals. The minister said that inherent in the said proposals was a level of deception.
“From the inception nearly ten months ago, APNU’s position is that they want a clean Bill and that they have proposals to make to the Bill. However, on that eleventh hour, when the proposals eventually came, they were not in relation to the Bill; they were to the Principal Act,” Nandlall said.
The government side explained that the Standing Orders state that the committee should confine itself to the matter that is before it. Their proposals on the other hand, are in relation to the Principal Act and therefore outside of the mandate of the committee.
At the end of its plenary in Paris, France, on February 13, the FATF announced that Guyana must submit a report on the progress that has been made in relation to the implementation of the recommendations, both legislative and non-legislative.
The attorney general said, “In terms of the recommendations that are legislative, we are to say whether they were passed into law and a copy of the law must be attached for examination by the plenary.”
The government hopes that the Bill, which has already been approved by the CFATF, will be passed before February 28 minus the proposals/amendments, which were put forward by APNU. Nandlall explained that there is a lack of clarity in terms of instructions to the draftsperson.
As a result those proposals have not yet been reduced into the form of amendments and are yet to be sent to the CFATF for approval. For this reason, the government is calling for the passage of the current Bill to be proceeded with; while the APNU’s proposals will be addressed when they are properly drafted and approved.
“After all, they must accept responsibility for the late submission for those proposals,” the attorney general stated.