UPDATED: McKenzie temporarily halts disposal of assets at Hanover Parish Council
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, has temporarily halted the disposal of all assets, including motor vehicles at the Hanover Parish Council.
The move follows an Office of the Contractor General report which slammed the Hanover Parish Council for breaches of protocol in the sale of a government vehicle to embattled former Mayor Shernette Haughton.
McKenzie says he will spare no effort in ensuring that transparency, accountability and enforcement measures are strengthened to restore the Council to the level of service delivery residents and taxpayers of Hanover deserve.
He also says as the oversight body for the Local Authorities, the Ministry’s team will have to take a more hands-on approach within the context of a monitoring framework.
Minister McKenzie made the comments while addressing a meeting of senior managers at the ministry recently.
According to the OCG, the Hanover Parish Council breached requirements of the Revised Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Policy for the Public Sector, as the vehicle was sold to Haughton by way of closed auction, but made available only to its employees.
The OCG says a closed auction should be made open to all government employees.
The OCG also says Haughton was ineligible to submit a bid for the vehicle as she had been employed to the Hanover Parish Council as Mayor for only two years and she should only have been able to bid after three years.
The OCG has referred its Special Report to the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and the Ministry of Finance and Public Service for them to determine whether there should be sanctions for the breaches.
Haughton is currently before the court in relation to another OCG probe which alleged that she used her position as mayor to give government contracts to family members and associates.