May 26, 2009 News Comments Off on Burrowes to amend report to include concerns about IT programme
Although a report on the recent inquiry into the affairs of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown has been submitted to Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Kellawan Lall, Commissioner of Inquiry, Keith Burrowes, is prepared to have it amended.
Burrowes’s intention was disclosed when he made an impromptu appearance during the municipality’s statutory meeting yesterday.
The move, according to him, was prompted when he became cognisant of an Information Technology (IT) initiative which has been introduced at the municipality with the aim of improving the operation of the various departments with computer technology.
Burrowes disclosed to the gathering of councillors and senior municipal officers that it was only two days ago that he was able to peruse a draft contract which the municipality has signed with India-based Polaris Software Lab Limited. The contract was inked last month and saw officials from Polaris commencing work immediately at the municipality by raising awareness about digital technology.
It was disclosed that the work being undertaken by the software company is likely to cost in excess of $26M, a disclosure which caused several councillors to erupt with indignation as the details of the initiative were not brought before the council.
Councillor Junior Garrett passionately pointed out that the IT programme should have been tendered and not simply given to a company even as he noted that “We all were conned.” With similar sentiments, Councillor Patricia Chase-Green highlighted the fact that following the award of the contract it was decided that it would have been circulated among the members of the relevant committee or at the council level. “I am still waiting to see how much money is to be expended. I am not satisfied…” Chase-Green expressed.
Several other councillors duly noted that they had not endorsed the initiative.
According to Burrowes, there was not enough work done by council and management to develop a business side in terms of the municipality’s need, an area that should not be left up to the IT professionals.
“I reviewed the contract and I must admit that while I have seen the company’s profile, I met with them and I believe they could do the work… my big concern is some of the issues that I believe that could create a nightmare for this council,” Burrowes said.
He disclosed that because of this he has taken the decision to advise the Minister that he will be amending the report, taking into consideration some of the IT-related concerns.
“While there is no argument that the company would be able to deliver, I do believe there was a problem with the process. I believe that some of the things may have boxed us into some concerns.”
Among these, Burrowes noted, is that the changes in the system are likely to represent the ideas that are suitable for the Polaris professionals rather than the officials of the municipality, as there is evidence that a lot of thinking was not directed to the process.
Burrowes disclosed that he was of the opinion that since the Polaris officials were meeting with individual heads of departments they would have had a position on the broad, strategic areas that they would have the consultancy revolve around.
“I think that the system should be positioned for a change which comes out from a strategic framework and therefore it should come out from departmental needs being addressed. Now I know that the consultancy in itself is supposed to do that kind of assessment, but I am strongly cautioning that the council and the executive be a bit more proactive in determining the business aspect of this programme. The programme needs that, so that there will be consistency throughout,” Burrowes warned.
As such, he emphasised the need for the Acting Town Clerk, Yonette Pluck-Cort, to conevene a meeting with senior municipal officials to look at the broad issues and come up with some standard areas that are of common concern.
Sep 26, 2020By Calvin Chapman Niall Stanton; Team Manager and coach of East Zone (District 12), during an exclusive interview with Kaieteur Sport has called for the relevant authorities inclusive of the Ministry...
Sep 26, 2020
Sep 26, 2020
Sep 26, 2020
Sep 26, 2020
Sep 25, 2020
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]