Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan on Wednesday confirmed that he is in receipt of the Local Government Commission’s (LGC) Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into City Hall’s operations.
He was at the time responding to the Opposition questions in the National Assembly as the budget estimate considerations continued.
Bulkan told the House that he is awaiting the LGC to hear how it plans to deal with the recommendations in the CoI which includes disciplinary actions against Town Clerk, Royston King and other senior members.
Questioned by Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP) Nigel Dharamlall, Bulkan affirmed that his ministry will not be a hindrance to the LGC recommendations.
On December 1, 2018, Chairman of the CoI Justice Kennard who was accompanied by legal clerk, Sherwin Benjamin explained that criminal charges can be instituted, since King leased lands which are owned by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).
NICIL would have provided statements to the Commission via its in-house Attorney, Arianne McLean, which would have detailed that the property was acquired by NICIL in 2002.
The Guyana National Engineering Corporation (GNEC) would have vested all of its assets in NICIL and NICIL became the lawful owner of the property. However, King leased the land to a shipping company, which made “questionable” payments.
Acting Town Clerk Sharon Harry-Munroe; Internal Auditor Omadeily Newton; City Constable Andrew Foo, and Human Resources Manager Paula Braithwaite are also to be disciplined for complete incompetence and dereliction of duty.
The City Engineer’s Department was under scrutiny for time lapses for plans to be approved, a process that should have taken weeks if all documents were submitted.
Meanwhile, it was recommended that City Treasurer Ron Mc Almont, who has been on leave since commencement of this year, proceed on retirement.
The report also called for the Audit Office of Guyana to conduct a forensic audit into the council’s management even as officers are being disciplined.
Commencing on September 22, the CoI hosted 15 sittings in which 50 persons testified. The hearings were completed on November 2 and the report was crafted after “Herculean” efforts from the Commission.