Communities Ministry still performing functions of local gov’t commission

-appoints Region 10 REO

Orrin Gordon

Four months after the Local Government Com-mission (LGC) was established, the Ministry of Communities is still performing several of its functions, including the appointment of local government staff.

Former Chairman of the Linden Interim Management Committee Orrin Gordon is now the Regional Executive Officer (REO) for Region 10, having been appointed by the Ministry rather than the LGC. This was confirmed by Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan, who told Stabroek News that Gordon’s application was one of a “number of applications that are on file, not specifically for this region.”

Asked if this application was referred to the LGC at any point, Bulkan noted that he would “prefer not to answer at this point.”

The LGC, according to the Act which governs it, is endowed with numerous functions, including all matters relating to the staffing of local government organs.

In particular, it is “responsible for employment, transfer, discipline and dismissal of staff and approval of remuneration, superannuation, training, leave and promotion of staff.”

However, since its establishment, the commission has not been able to perform any of its functions as it has not had the funding, the staff nor the operational structure.

LGC Chairman Mortimer Mingo told Stabroek News in February that the LGC was steadily working to establish a permanent base, with a full complement of staff, where it can properly adjudicate the complaints.

He had explained that since its establishment last November, the Commission received “more than a dozen” complaints from various Local Government Authorities.

“We are eager and anxious to get on with the work… we could not move forward as we wanted to because of the constraint of building and staffing and we had to wait on budget,” he said.

He further explained that while the commission has been allocated $110 million in the 2018 budget, it is not yet in receipt of the funds and has therefore not yet employed its full complement of staff nor taken up residence at its permanent location.

It had, however, identified a suitable building in Eping Avenue from which to conduct business and appointed a secretary and accountant.

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