There is no law that gives Minister Whittaker authority to decide signatories to council’s accounts

Dear Editor,

 

Please refer to an article which appeared in the Stabroek News of Tuesday, May 13, 2014, headlined: `Town Clerk standoff, verbal abuse and a bomb scare.’

Specifically, the penultimate paragraph which states: “I have since advised the banks that the signatories have not changed…Carol Sooba is the town clerk and the treasurer is the treasurer.”

We would be very grateful if the Honourable Minister, Mr. Norman Whittaker can cite the particular law, which gives him the authority to determine who should be signatories to Council’s Accounts. Perhaps, it may have escaped our attention.

However, it is important for members of the public to know that our employees are not paid from the public purse. The Council pays its workers from revenue earned from its various activities. However, we do receive an annual subvention from Government, to assist us with our general responsibility.

Finally, the Mayor and City Council is guided by Section 149 of the Municipal and District Council’s Act, Chapter 28:01: which states that:-

“All payments on account of a council shall be made by the treasurer in pursuance of an order signed by two councillors who are members of the Finance Committee and who are authorised by the Finance Committee in that behalf; and all cheques for payment of moneys shall be signed by the treasurer and countersigned by the clerk or such other local government officer as may be authorised by the council on that behalf:

Provided that the following payments may be made out of the general rate fund without an order, that is to say:-

Payments made in pursuance of section 22;

Payments of allowances to councillors;

Payments of emoluments and allowances to any local government officer in the service of the council (other than daily or weekly paid employees);

Payments not exceeding one hundred dollars in relation to services provided for in the estimates.”

 

Yours faithfully,
Royston King
Town Clerk

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