Board chairman gives NSWMA high marks
Dennis Chung, chairman of the board of directors of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), has given the entity high marks for its achievements since he took office in April.
"Over the past six months, the organisation has been engaged in trying to improve the service delivery and governance structure and by doing so to put the NSWMA on a path that we can all be proud of," Chung told a press conference at the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hagley Park Road's Kingston office last week.
He pointed to the establishment of a Corporate Governance Framework, which has been uploaded to the agency's website, as an indication of the serious intent to clean up its operations and image.
Another area of focus is putting the necessary accounting controls and processes in place, in order to facilitate the timely and accurate collection of relevant information relating to assets and expenditures.
To this end, the agency has employed the services of consultants to help in getting outstanding financial statements up to date.
Chung explained why this was necessary.
"There are a few statements for NSWMA and the regions that were being worked on and by the previous board that have been signed off. For me, this is probably the area of greatest weakness right now within the organisation.
I am satisfied though that there are much greater controls in place, and we have been getting more accurate financial information at the board," said Chung.
With more garbage collection trucks slated to come into the system by next May, Chung is optimistic that the trajectory of improvement will continue, even as the agency continues to face other challenges.
He said that despite the resources constraint, the NSWMA is making an effort to achieve a minimum once per week collection of garbage.
"We recognise that this is still a sore point, but given resources, this limits our ability as compactors are needed. We have been working on this area and have seen a 40 per cent fall in complaints, even though this is still an issue," Chung admitted, even as he cited some positives.
"We have a good management team in place and staff morale has been reported as improving, which we welcome."
He expressed appreciation for the public feedback and suggestions from the public which he said keep the board on its toes.
"We encourage you to provide us with the feedback and criticisms which form a part of our control processes. We will continue to be transparent about our operations, but this may not take the form of a press conference in the future as there may not be need for this anymore but rather press releases."