After waiting for over two years since the APNU/AFC coalition came into Government and promised to establish the Local Government Commission (LGC), State Minister Joseph Harmon on Thursday announced that Cabinet, by a memorandum submitted by Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, has approved the appointment of eight persons to serve on the LGC.
Harmon at a Post Cabinet press briefing said that this is in accordance with the requirements of Section (1) (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the Local Government Commission Act, Number 18 of 2013.
By law, the Commission is to be made up of eight members. These members will include four nominated by the Government, one from the unions, and three nominees from the Leader of the Opposition.
Government was the only stakeholder yet to fulfill its responsibilities to nominate representatives to the Commission.
Over one year ago, Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo submitted his nominees and re-submitted the list earlier this year.
Former acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba and former Local Government Ministers Norman Whittaker and Clinton Collymore were nominated as the PPP/C’s representatives on the Local Government Commission.
While Andrew Garnett, of the Guyana Local Government Officers Union, was appointed as the union representative.
According to Harmon, Mortimer Mingo, Clement Corlette, Marlon Williams, Joan Ann Ramascindo, Andrew Garnett, Carol Sooba, Norman Whittaker and Clinton Collymore are the appointees.
Minister Harmon said that the members will be sworn in by President David Granger shortly. Arrangements in relation to office, staff and other facilities to be used by the commissioners are to be finalised. “I am advised by the Ministry of Communities that work had already started in that regard and therefore …once they are sworn in, they should hit the ground running,” the Minister noted.
In the 2017 budget, $30 million had been allocated for the LGC.
The Commission, through the Ministry of Communities, is mandated to oversee, monitor, investigate and examine the actions of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and the municipalities.
Local Government Elections (LGE) are slated for 2018.