President Dr Irfaan Ali has said that an active Local Government Commission (LGC) is vital for development and pledged to support the body in carrying out its duties.
The President called LGC’s eight-member swearing-in ceremony an important event and advised officials that his Government was drawing up policies to secure better local development as the country was at a definitive stage of its economic progression.
He noted that Guyana is already the fastest growing economy in the Western Hemisphere, and that with its projected outlook over the next decade, there will be economic and social transformation.
Guyana’s development, according to the Head of State, lies with improving the livelihoods of its people.
“The Executive intends to ensure that the development of the country ahead is balanced and, more importantly, safeguarded at all levels of our society – at national, regional and community level.”
The President added that his Government appreciates the “important role” the Local Government Commission can play in ensuring that its policies and programs are not delayed by impediment, poor implementation, absence of professionalism or by disputes between and within local government bodies.
“The Government therefore endorses the need for and constitution of the Local Government Commission. As such, this simple ceremony borders on importance. It is a manifestation of the Government’s commitment to furthering the aims and objectives of local government authorities and in particular, to tackle the employment, transfer, discipline and dismissal of public officials within the local government system and to resolve disputes within and between entities local government. . ”
The President reiterated that as the country’s budget allocation expands, more responsibilities will be placed on Local Government bodies as there will be a greater need for better oversight, professionalism and accountability.
He said he knew some of the members (both new and returning) personally and testified that they were committed to Guyana’s development.
“I congratulate those appointed. You have been deemed to have met extensive information criteria, where practicable, in local government, administration, finance, Amerindian affairs, industry or law. “
President Ali also assured them that they will remain self-directed in the performance of their duties.
“I can assure you of the support of my administration and give you my personal guarantee that any attempt to interfere with the discharge of your functions specified under the Constitution and the Local Government Commission Act will not be tolerated.”
The members of the LGC who stepped in for a three-year term today were Clinton Collymore, Carol Sooba, Norman Whittaker, Carvil Duncan, Julius Faeber, Clement Corlette, Joan-Ann Romascindo and Nicola Trotman.
Also at the event were Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, Minister for Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall and Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development Anand Persaud.