Sun | Apr 22, 2018

Inside the Municipal Corporations | Portmore deputy mayor objects to directive over who should sign cheques

Published:Monday | December 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Alric Campbell

A stipulation from the Ministry of Local Government to municipal corporations has drawn sharp objections from the deputy mayor of Portmore and chairman of the Finance Committee, Alric Campbell.

According to Campbell, the ministry's stipulation that the signatories to cheques should be the mayors and chief executive officers who are considered primary signatories, and only if they are not available then the secondary signatories can sign, is contrary to the provisions of the Local Government Act.

"I am very disturbed by this stipulation. I have done my research and nowhere in the Local Government Financing and Financial Act does it give the minister the power to stipulate who should sign cheques at municipal corporations," Campbell told The Gleaner.

"The law clearly gives the municipal corporations the right to make that selection," he continued, making reference to the Local Government Financing and Financial Act of 2015.

The Act, Campbell said, states in part that at least one member of the municipal corporation and one senior administrative member of staff can sign cheques on behalf of the municipality.

Campbell said the minister is obligated to explain to the municipal corporations why the new stipulation was being made in contravention of the law.

"The clarity here is without question, unless the minister has some other motive why he took this step. He owes the Portmore municipality an explanation why they should go down a route not supported by law," Campbell said.