President Dr Irfaan Ali has said that a functioning Local Government Commission (LGC) is imperative for development and promised to support the body in the execution of its duties.
The President called the swearing-in ceremony of the eight LGC members an important event and indicated to the officials that his Government is crafting policies to achieve enhanced local development since the country is at a decisive stage of its economic progression.
He noted that Guyana is already the fastest growing economy in the Western Hemisphere, and 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 the improvement of the livelihoods of its people.
“It is the Executive’s intention to ensure that the country’s forthcoming development is balanced and, more importantly, safeguarded at all levels of our society – the national level, at the level of the regions and at the community level.”
The President added that his Government values the “important role” which the Local Government Commission can play in ensuring that its policies and programmes are not retarded by obstructionism, poor implementation, the absence of professionalism or by disputes between and within local government bodies.
“Government, therefore, endorses the need for, and the constituting of, the Local Government Commission. As such, this simple ceremony brims with importance. It is a manifestation of Government’s commitment to advancing the aims and objectives of local government authorities and specifically, to addressing the employment, transfer, disciplining, and dismissal of public officers within the local government system and the resolving of disputes within and between local government entities.”
The President reemphasised that as the country’s budgetary allocation expands, more responsibilities will be placed on Local Government bodies since there will be a greater need for enhanced oversights, professionalism and accountability.
He said that he knows some of the members (both new and returning) personally and attested to them being committed to the development of Guyana.
“I congratulate the appointees. You have been deemed to have met the criteria of extensive knowledge, where practicable, in local government matters, administration, finance, Amerindian affairs, industry or law.”
President Ali also assured them that they will remain self-directed in the execution of their duties.
“I assure you of the support of my administration and give you my personal guarantee that no attempt at interference with the discharge of your functions specified under the Constitution and the Local Government Commission Act, will be tolerated.”
The LGC members sworn 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 of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall and Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development Anand Persaud.