City council’s unwillingness to account for money it receives is a matter of concern to Local Government Ministry

Dear Editor,

While the Mayor, his Deputy and several of the councillors often use the excuse of limited finances for their failure to provide quality services to the residents of the municipality, the council’s unwillingness, neglect to account for the money it receives is a matter of grave concern to us at the Ministry of Local Government & Regional Development and to the PPP/C government.

Below follows correspondence I sent to the Auditor General recently.

 

“Dear Auditor General,

“During 2008 the Georgetown City Council did submit a Project Proposal for funding from Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).

“The project aimed at enhancing the “Lodge Housing Scheme environment” and US$75,828 was deposited into a special account opened by the City Council as per agreement between the Parties.

“The Account was opened with three signatories: Town Clerk ag. Yonette Pluck; Treasurer ag. Andrew Meredith and Director ag. Solid Waste Department, Hubert Urlin[g].

“On the conclusion of the agreed period of execution of the Project, “there was a remaining balance of $753 264.

“Under the terms of the Contract, ‘any remaining balance must be refunded to the Japanese Embassy along with the submission of a final Audit Report’.

“To date Counsellor Hirofumi Murabayashi has indicated by way of letter addressed to the Town Clerk ag. of the Georgetown City Council Carol Sooba and copied to the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and forwarded to the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Regional Development that the Audit Report and the refund of the remaining balance are yet to be submitted by the City Council.

“It must be noted also that this failure to close the Project as per the terms of the Contractual Agreement ‘creates difficulties for the Japanese Embassy to move forward with other similar Grassroots Grant Projects (GGP) in Guyana to the detriment of potential future beneficiaries’.

The Hon. Minister of Local Government and Regional Development requests that the Auditor General causes an investigation to be conducted into the utilization of the Japanese Grant and a determination made in respect of the location of the balance of funds remaining from the Grant with a view to having this balance repatriated to the Japanese Embassy.”

 

Yours faithfully,
Norman Whittaker MP
Minister within the Ministry
of Local Government &
Regional Development

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