With the hopes of many proponents of local democracy on their shoulders, members of the recently-appointed Local Government Commission (LGC) are working to establish a solid foundation for their work.
Vice-Chairman of the Commission Andrew Garnett told Sunday Stabroek yesterday that the LGC presently has two areas of action: accessing a building to house the commission and setting up an institutional framework.
He explained that while the commission has identified a building which it is interested in either purchasing or renting, negotiations are still at the early stage. Once these are completed, it will focus on staffing the commission with technical, professional and ancillary staff.
He noted that decisions have already been made on the most important categories of staff needed. These include a secretary, chief accountant and human resource officer.
According to Garnett, since the commission was sworn in after the date for budget submissions, it expects that the realities of its 2018 expenditure will require that it apply for a supplementary allocation to augment the $110 million budget which it has been granted.
“It’s a graduation. We can’t operate at optimal staff because, having been sworn in late October we missed budget deadline. Hopefully, a supplementary will be passed, but for now we have to work with what we have,” Garnett noted.