Bulkan touts Code of Conduct for Town Clerks, admin officials
As a new council led by 27-year-old Mayor Pandit Ubraj Narine, takes over the management of the Capital City, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan is calling for stricter monitoring of the council’s resources and administrative officials.
“Strict monitoring will ensure value for money, accountability and transparency. Citizens must only hear that X or Y sum was expended but more importantly the value and effectiveness of each expenditure undertaken, it must be felt by the ordinary person,” the Minister said in his charge to councillors gathered in the council’s Chambers Monday afternoon.
The New Mayor and Councillors are taking over the City’s management in less than three months after its Town Clerk and other officials were dragged before a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to answer to questions of mismanagement.
At a time when his Ministry is considering the report, the Minister also touted a code of conduct for administrative officials.
He noted that “recent events have proven that the entire council, whether good or bad, are brought into disrepute in the absence of checks and balances.”
Bulkan told the council that his Ministry will be working to craft guidelines for Town Clerks and other Administrative officials to avoid future recurrence of mismanagement or misappropriation of funds.
The guidelines will include a Code of Conduct for the officials, guidelines for treating with council’s assets in accordance with Municipal and District Council’s Act and fine-tune procurement procedures.
The COI, centred on Town Clerk Royston King, was ordered by the Local Government Commission in 2018.
The COI report was completed and recommended disciplinary action against King and other officials for gross misconduct, abuse of office, conspiracy and misappropriation of funds.
Among the findings of the COI is the fact that the Town Clerk leased lands belonging to the council and wantonly awarded contracts without permission from the council to his associates.
The Minister also called on the new council to tackle age-old problems of illegal vending, drainage, security, solid waste management, squatting and zoning.
“All eyes [are] not only on the Mayor but on the entire council,” Minister Bulkan said.
“The other nine townships are watching, so are the vendors, the business community, residents, youth, etc,” he added, noting that “this council must, therefore, confront these challenges while maintaining the goodwill of the people it serves.”
The new city council comprises two Alliance For Change councillors, seven People’s Progressive Party councillors and the remainder being APNU councillors who were elected at the November 12, 2018, Local Government Elections.