Aug 31, 2012 News Comments Off on Financial management training for NDCs…NDCs’ overseers warned to shape up…or leave
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Ganga Persaud, is calling for more consistency and commonality with regards to how business is done at the level of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) and Local Government departments.
The Minister was, on Wednesday, addressing NDC overseers and assistant overseers, from around the country, at a workshop focusing on financial management, at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), Liliendaal.
“This is not the first intervention of this nature, however, this will be the last time that we will seek to ensure that the environment which exists with regards to records keeping and financial management are adhered to, and persons who fail to do so will have to exit the system,” the Minister warned the overseers.
He explained that in every sphere of human activity there rests some system of governance, some more orderly and structured than others.
“So when a system in itself fails, becomes non-responsive, less than effective… the weaknesses are often not inherent in the laws and principles, they are more often inherent in us (humans)…. it is for that reason that we recognise that accountability and transparency at the level of local government must be righted, boosted and consistent across the country,” the official noted.
In this regard, Minister Persaud urged all overseers and assistant overseers to not find themselves in a position where they are labelled or stigmatised as impediments to the systems which are adumbrated in the local government laws.
“We can all have and continue to have a happy life as local government officials if we ensure that the system, laws, rules, principles and regulations are adhered to and that the citizens who are our major stakeholders are aware of our operational principles,” Minister Persaud said.
He added that failing to so indicates that some people are playing their retirement or termination card whether consciously or unconsciously. The Minister pointed out that some NDC officers should be chastised because they believe that they have modified and adopted the system to operate in the manner they want it to.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Collin Croal noted that the session was planned two months ago and is timely since the Ministry has employed over 20 new overseers and assistants.
Croal emphasised that human resource development is an important component in the functioning of the Ministry.
He stated that it is expected that with this training, all the NDCs by January 31, 2013 should be able to submit, to the Ministry, their financial statements for 2012.
The Ministry is required to present those statements to the Office of the Auditor General by April 30 for auditing.
“While requests have been made by the overseers for interventions, since they are new recruits, we at the Ministry are disappointed in the lack of and sometimes non-existent record,” he added.
Throughout the day there were interactive presentations covering areas such as standardization of forms, monthly financial statements, annual financial statements, and budget estimates.
With local government elections last held since the 90’s, there have been numerous, increasing complaints of the operations of NDCs and Town Councils.
These bodies, which manage their respective districts, are facing corruption allegations, tardiness and neglect by especially residents.
Recently, government has been on a campaign to replace non-functioning NDCs with Interim Management Committees.
At least one overseer is paying back monies he admitted taking from an East Bank Demerara NDC.
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