Thursday, 23 May 2013
AFC’s $50M lawsuit against PPP Executive Secreta... » A $50M libel suit initiated by Alliance for Change...
President apologises to APNU leader for oversight ... » PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on Governance, Gail Teixeira,...
APNU reasons for pull-out of Money Laundering obli... » HOME Affairs Minister Clement Rohee believes that ...
As an additional boost to mobile fleet... Police g... » THE Guyana Police Force (GPF), yesterday, received...
High tide warning in effect - more sandbags aligne... » THE Ministry of Public Works has issued a warning ...
OPR to probe Shaka Chase torture allegations - Roh... » MINISTER of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee yesterday ...
Granger’s associate fingered in U.S. corruption ... » A FORMER member of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ...
AFC Councilor rebuffs party shenanigans …says Ra... » “THE budget cuts are unconscionable and unconsti...
Over 1, 500 laptops given out in Region 4 - as OL... » WITH a total of 28,000 laptops already in the hand...
|Within a week… : Fate of City Hall mafia to be announced|
|Friday, 28 December 2012 21:19|
WITHIN a week, a decision will be announced by the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development on the fate of City Hall’s “Mafia” and other errant employees who were implicated in major financial irregularities.
That will be decided on the basis of a report by Chairman of the Implementation Committee that was set up to investigate the operations of City Hall, Mr. Keith Burrowes, who had referred to three senior officers of the City Council as the ‘mafia’ at the helm of massive fraud.
In 2009, the City Council was not found to be delivering on its services and the government stepped in and tasked Burrowes with investigating the goings-on at the municipality.
He and his team, subsequently, came up with 40 recommendations that, if implemented, could have solved many of the issues at City Hall.
However, through to 2012, the Council still is not delivering.
“In fact, things got worse with revenue collection and the delivery of services,” Whittaker told a press conference yesterday.
Hence, in 2012, with the approval of Cabinet and the Council, Mr. Raymon Gaskin, a management consultant, was assigned to head the Burrowes Implementation Committee.
The Gaskin Report found that not one of the 40 key recommendations by Burrowes was put in place and, instead, pointed to deficiencies in key players within the system.
Based on that compilation and, again, with Cabinet’s concurrence, the ministry determined to forward the compendium to the police and the Auditor General, and the officers allegedly culpable were sent on leave to facilitate the investigation.
The findings were sent to the minister recently and, according to Whittaker, it is being perused by the relevant authorities and ahead of the anticipated announcement regarding the officers.
Whittaker said the audit analysis identified some of the same officers culpable of recklessness, failing to keep proper records and care for the Council’s assets.
Last July 23, Town Clerk Yonnette Pluck, City Engineer Gregory Erskine, City Treasurer Andrew Meredith, Deputy Town Clerk Sharon Harry-Munroe, Solid Waste Director Hubert Urlin and Personnel Officer Paulette Braithwaite were all sent on leave to facilitate a proper probe.
At a press conference a few months ago, Burrowes had said: “I’ve concluded that it’s not incompetence. They just don’t want to implement them (his recommendations”). He reported how “shocked” he was to learn that, of the four brand new trucks given to the municipality by the government, just one was working while the others, plus three more, remained parked.
“We started to look into why. And it led us to believe that it was deliberate, because then you had to contract other people. And we are now seeing a link between some members of the Council and these other persons,” he explained.
When staffing was considered, it was found that the Council now has a record of about 800 employees, but Burrowes believes that, had this really been the case, the City of Georgetown would have been a bit cleaner.
“About 400 of those persons are phantoms,” he declared, while acknowledging that this number may be a bit exaggerated.
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