First meeting of Local Gov’t Commission rescheduled after absence of PPP members

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The inaugural meeting of the country’s first Local Government Commission was rescheduled following the absence of the three commissioners who were nominated by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Five commissioners were present for the first meeting of the recently established Commission, on Friday, October 27, in the boardroom at the Ministry of Communities, Kingston.

Commissioners absent from the meeting were Norman Whittaker, Clinton Collymore and Carol Sooba. A statement from the Department of Public Information said the meeting was adjourned and rescheduled for October 31 at Parliament Buildings.

The Commission, which was sworn in on October 23, was mandated to have their session immediately following its establishment. According to the DPI, the Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan said members were briefed on the importance of crafting a work plan given the urgency of their mandates.

“A meeting was scheduled for today (October 27) at 1pm and this was communicated to all members in an email correspondence… it was my hope that they all could have attended and participated. I was now made to understand that a meeting was held and the three PPP members did not attend,” Minister Bulkan was quoted as saying.

According to the DPI, the meeting “constitutes a formal one, because under the legislation three members comprise a quorum so any decisions that would have been made today is certainly official.”
The DPI statement noted that Commissioner Mortimer Mingo said the agenda for the meeting would have included the appointment of offices which will ensure that the commission is effectively managed.

“The agenda item should have been the election of the chairman of the commission as well as the deputy chairman,” Mingo was quoted as saying.

“We have a very huge responsibility of overseeing the local government organs of this country and we thought we would have been able to carry on with the commission’s business,” Commissioner Mingo added.
Other items on the agenda would have included budgeting for the 2017-2020 period, establishment/identification of a building to facilitate the operations of the commission, employment of technical, clerical and administrative staff along with the drafting of a work plan.

Meanwhile, other commissioners present at the meeting look said they forward to working together to address the needs of the local government body.
“We want to ensure that there is absolute adherence to the principles of good governance as far as the conduct of our business is a concern,” Commissioner Andrew Garnett was quoted as saying.

Commissioner Clement Corlette also expressed that, “we believe the commission should work collectively in bringing about the necessary supervision and improvement to the local government system in the country and it is for that reason we didn’t proceed with the business at hand. To give a chance to all the assigned commissioners to be on board.”

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