Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Fully support the audit of all parish councils

Published:Tuesday | July 12, 2016 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I make reference to Mr. Robert Dalley's opinion letter published in the Daily Observer (July 11) titled 'Audit all parish councils'. As president of the Jamaica United Local Government Representatives Association (JULGRA), I fully support Mr. Dalley's recommendation to the local government minister Desmond McKenzie to take the actions necessary to order a comprehensive forensic and accounting audit of all parish councils. Thereafter, the minister should present the findings to Parliament so that the details can be made public within the framework of public accountability and transparency, which the minister says he is completely committed to and it is important for those audits to be conducted forthwith.

Allegations of fraud at one of the parish councils raided recently by the police is damning and the culprits, whoever they are, must be held fully accountable for their misconduct and fraudulent actions which involves taxpayers monies. No one employed in the parish councils, including the KSAC, is above the law and there are far too many allegations of corruption taking place across parish councils, including at the Hanover parish council. The various alleged breaches of the government's procurement guidelines, rules and regulations is shocking and must be outrightly condemned in the strongest terms possible.

JULGRA is appalled at the many allegations of corruption taking place at those raided parish councils and fully supports the police in actions taken. We support the honourable minister in investigating those three raided parish councils and unlike Mayor Angela Brown Burke and Mayor Sean Barnswell, we do not see any evidence whatsoever to substantiate the view that parish councils are being targeted for political reasons. We are disappointed in those irresponsible, baseless and unfortunate comments coming from those two mayors. Mayors are expected to conduct themselves responsibly and I urge both mayors to publicly apologise to Minister McKenzie for their unfortunate comments.

Since Minister McKenzie's appointment, he has been demonstrating a no-nonsense approach to his ministerial portfolio of which JULGRA congratulates him for and sincerely urges him to audit all the parish councils immediately. Too much corruption has been taking place at parish councils across Jamaica and this is intolerable. We are in full support of Minister McKenzie a hardworking minister.

Frank L. R. Manborde

President

Jamaica United Local

Government Representatives

Association (JULGRA)

Grange Hill PO

Westmoreland

frankmanborde@mail.com