No Cabinet decision on Harmon

first_imgNo decision has been taken as it relates to trimming some of the duties and responsibilities of Minister of State Joseph Harmon after hours of discussion at Cabinet on Tuesday.The Alliance For Change (AFC), the small partner in the coalition Government, has called for Harmon to be stripped of some of the portfolios he holds in light of recent controversy involving the Minister.A Cabinet source told <<>> late Tuesday night that the matter came up for discussion, and Minister Harmon was given the opportunity to defend himself before the Cabinet, but no decision has been taken.“Well, I can tell you that Mr Harmon has the chance to sort of defend himself before Cabinet… That’s what happen (Tuesday), I really can’t go into details, but what I know is that Cabinet will now have to examine and analyse the various submissions before any decisions can be taken,” the Cabinet Member stated.Asked whether it was indicated how soon a decision could be taken, the source said: “I won’t be able to say.”On Sunday last, Harmon broke his silence after three weeks of sensationalised articles published by the Kaieteur News in an apparent smear campaign against him. He noted that he was not concerned by the current “organised campaign to damage his reputation” as it would not affect the way in which he performed his duties.In what appears to be a move aimed at tarnishing Harmon’s political career, Kaieteur News has been publishing a series of articles about the Minister’s decision to appoint businessman Brian Tiwari as his personal Adviser on Business Development and instructions he gave to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to halt a seizure of several vehicles from Chinese logging company BaiShanLin. The articles were skilfully designed in a manner to portray the Minister as corrupt.President David Granger had described claims of corruption against Harmon and his Government as “outrageous”, and stated that it was difficult for him to accept a blanket criticism of the entire Administration because of one incident.Following a retreat on Sunday, the AFC released a statement in which it called for Harmon’s powers to be trimmed. The AFC had explained that the concentration of the powers of the office of the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency and the effective Head of the Presidential Secretariat in a single person was a matter of concern and the powers should be separated.The statement continued that the “current difficulties which the Government has encountered in the continuing revelations arising out of the appointment of the Advisor on Business Development, and the issues surrounding this, have their roots in the concentration of the powers… The responsibilities of each of the above portfolios are substantial and of critical importance to the smooth operations of the Government and would benefit from separate appointments.”However, the Head of State on Monday told reporters that he did not believe Harmon’s duties and responsibilities were at all too burdensome.“I don’t think that they are so burdensome that he cannot take all three responsibilities. I am standing by the duties which were assigned to him last May and this is what we have been working with for the last 11 months and this is what was explained to the Cabinet retreat in January,” the President said.Moreover, he posited that he was surprised that the AFC now seemed to find fault in the distribution of duties and responsibilities among Cabinet members.“We had a retreat of the Cabinet earlier this year and we put out a very clear statement on the responsibilities of all 14 Ministers and the Ministry of the Presidency. So there is a book and it is stated, and nobody made any objections to the duties which were assigned to the Minister of State then and it would be surprising that after two months, people feel that the duties are being misused or they need to be trimmed,” he explained.Minister Harmon has been one of the most proactive and competent ministers within the APNU/AFC Administration and has been a target of Kaieteur News’ vendetta because of his association with Tiwari, the cousin of Glenn Lall, Publisher of that newspaper.last_img read more

Statistics suggests that unanimous agreement in witnessed events may be sign of

first_img © 2016 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society A Citation: Statistics suggests that unanimous agreement in witnessed events may be sign of an error (2016, March 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-statistics-unanimous-agreement-witnessed-events.html Overwhelming evidence? It’s probably a bad thing (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with The University of Adelaide and one with University of Angers has found that the probability of a unanimous agreement in witnessed events is low enough that instances of such are likely a sign of an error. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, the researchers suggest their findings could have an impact on fields as diverse as legal proceedings, archaeological assessments and even cryptographic testing. Explore furthercenter_img When a jury is given testimony by many witnesses to a crime, all fingering the same person, the consensus is generally that the police have caught the right person. But, a statistical assessment of such instances by the research team suggests that may not always be the case. They suggest that the opposite may in fact be true, that the more witnesses fingering the same person, the greater likelihood there is that the wrong person has been caught.The reasoning by the team goes along the lines of logic; if 100 people observe an apple sitting on an otherwise bare table and all confirm it was an apple, than there is a strong likelihood that it was an apple sitting there. But, what happens when the observation is not so simple—for example, what if 100 people see a man carrying a bag of money out of a bank after a robbery, and all 100 agree that it was the man police have identified as the robber. That might be a problem because prior research has shown that when asked to identify a person that witnesses have seen for just a few seconds, especially if that person is running away, can be as low as 50 percent correct. When performing Bayesian analysis on such scenarios, the team reports, the numbers grow worse as the number of people unanimously agrees on something they believe they have seen. Put another way, statistically speaking, it is nearly impossible for 100 people to all correctly identify a person in such a situation—thus, if they do, it calls into question the validity of the results.The researchers note that their findings apply to other areas as well—if 100 archeologists agree on the source of a find, for example, the odds are great that there is an error somewhere, because statistics suggests there should be at least some differences in the results. More information: Lachlan J. Gunn et al. Too good to be true: when overwhelming evidence fails to convince, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Science (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2015.0748AbstractIs it possible for a large sequence of measurements or observations, which support a hypothesis, to counterintuitively decrease our confidence? Can unanimous support be too good to be true? The assumption of independence is often made in good faith; however, rarely is consideration given to whether a systemic failure has occurred. Taking this into account can cause certainty in a hypothesis to decrease as the evidence for it becomes apparently stronger. We perform a probabilistic Bayesian analysis of this effect with examples based on (i) archaeological evidence, (ii) weighing of legal evidence and (iii) cryptographic primality testing. In this paper, we investigate the effects of small error rates in a set of measurements or observations. We find that even with very low systemic failure rates, high confidence is surprisingly difficult to achieve; in particular, we find that certain analyses of cryptographically important numerical tests are highly optimistic, underestimating their false-negative rate by as much as a factor of 280. Credit: George Hodan/Public Domain This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more