-Budget not approved so I can’t sign vouchers- NDC Chairman defends
Regional Chairman of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) in Region Four- Demerara-Mahaica-, Genevieve Allen has launched an investigation into the non-payment of fortnightly salaries over the Easter weekend to the staff attached to the Little Diamond- Herstelling Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).
According to a release, the investigation was ordered after the Vice Chairman of the RDC, Earl Lambert and Assistant Regional Executive Officer (AREO) Ramnarine Singh disclosed during a monthly meeting that thirteen employees were not paid.
It was disclosed that the Chairman of the NDC, Madan Singh refused to sign the vouchers to effect payment.
“This is unacceptable and I am launching an immediate investigation as this nonsense cannot and will not continue,” Allen said.
“These persons have worked and by law, they are to be paid, paid not when the Chairman feels ready and happy to, but paid within the stipulated time frame of when salaries are due,” she added.
Moreover, it was also noted that the Chairman refused to attend the most recent NDC meeting, even after being contacted by the AREO.
“I have launched an investigation after which we as a region will certainly have to take the appropriate action. Politics and politicking should be left for election time and has no place in professional organisations and environment,” the Regional Chairman asserted.
AREO Singh, according to the release, said that this problem arose after the chairman’s unilateral decision to impose a 150 per cent increase in his monthly stipend.
“He (Chairman) has been receiving $10,000 each month. However, he imposed an additional $15,000 increase to his salary, thus making it $25,000 and because the overseer has refused, he, in turn, refused to sign off on the salaries for the workers,” the AREO explained.
Overseer, Candace Atherly also added that once things are not done in the NDC Chairman’s favour, he refuses to administer his responsibilities.
“We told him that the vouchers were to pay the salaries but yet he told us that if he ain’t getting his $25,000.00 then nobody ain’t getting paid because he ain’t signing nothing,” she related.
Meanwhile, when this online publication made contact with the NDC Chairman Madan Singh on Wednesday regarding the issue, the man- who said he has only taken office on January 1, 2018- sought to defend his decision by explaining that he had only recently discovered that the Budget for 2018 had not been approved by the Council as yet.
“I have not signed the vouchers because the Overseer, at our Statutory meeting on March 27, that’s March gone, last month, has indicated to us for the very first time that our Budget has not been approved. Our Budget for 2018 and I asked then that she present the Budget now for approval and she refused and I thought then that how are we spending if we have an unapproved Budget,” he posited.
The Chairman explained to INews that the Budget was supposed to approved since the end of last year. He also noted, when questioned, that he had not reported the issue to his superiors as yet, but intends to do so in a written form soon.
“The NDC doesn’t have ink so I have to go outside and print it out and then send it to them,” he said. (Ramona Luthi)