…Andrew Garnett is Deputy
The newly-appointed Local Government Commissioners met for the first time on Tuesday and unanimously elected former Chairman of Region 10, Mortimer Mingo, as its Chairman and union leader Andrew Garnett as its deputy chair and is now set for the execution of its constitutionally mandated functions.
Just over a week ago, President David Granger swore in the first set of Commissioners for the Local Government Commission according to the Local Government Commission Act.
Guyana’s first-ever Local Government Commissioners to oversee Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and municipalities, were former Region 10 Chairman, Mortimer Mingo; former Region Four Chairman, Clement Corlette; senior executive of the Alliance For Change, Marlon Williams; educator, Joan Ann Romascindo; union leader, Andrew Garnett; former Town Clerk of Georgetown, Carol Sooba, and former PPP/C Government Ministers, Norman Whittaker and Clinton Collymore.
On Wednesday, Mingo said that the first task of the commission is to identify a suitable location for the establishment of their office. In addition, the Chairman said that they are in the process of working out their budget since the national budget is to be presented in the National Assembly later this month.
He said that the Commission would be meeting again on Friday to further deliberate on the effective functioning of the constitutional body while addressing other issues such as staffing and the approval of a seal. He said that they are hoping to conclude those activities before the end of the year so that they would be in a better position to address the issues that they would encounter.
The Chairman noted that the first meeting was a cordial one with all the commissioners committing to working to resolve the issues plaguing the local government organs.
“This commission is tasked and empowered to deal with all matters in relation to the regulation of local government organs and staffing of local government organs, and dispute resolution within and between local government organs and in particular we shall monitor and review the implementation of regulations and policies of all local government organs including policies of taxation and protection of the environment,” the Chairman said.
In addition, the body is tasked with the monitoring, evaluation and making recommendations on the policies, procedures and practices of all local government organs. The body is also tasked with investigating any matter under the purview and propose remedial action to the Communities Minister whenever and wherever necessary.
The commission was established after pressure from civil society and the Opposition following Local Government Elections in 2016.