Tue | Jul 27, 2021

HMC moves to establish public accounts committee

Published:Monday | May 17, 2021 | 12:05 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels
Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels
Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels
Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels

Western Bureau:

With the parish development committee (PDC) now up and running, the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) has decided to establish a local public accounts committee (PAC) to oversee its income and budgetary expenditures, among other functions.

At last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the HMC, David Gardener, the corporation’s chief executive officer, advised that with the recent revitalisation of the PDC, it is now in order for the HMC to put into place the local PAC, which is in keeping with the local government regulations.

Committee’s functions

“Its (the committee’s) functions will include: (1) to review the performance of the local authority to determine whether accountability, transparency, and ethical standards are being observed; (2) to review the performance of the local authority, to assess whether service delivery standards and other obligations of the council to the inhabitants of the local authority are being achieved; (3) to examine the financial activities, transactions and procurement practices of the local authority, to determine conformity to applicable legal requirements, standards, and guidelines; (4) to call on officers of the local authority to give account, and to explain matters, as specified in the foregoing paragraph.”

Following the outlining of the guidelines given as it relates to the composition of the committee and the format under which the committee can be put in place, councillors adopted a resolution to approve the formulation of the committee, with the chairmanship going to a representative from the PDC.

A decision was also taken to have two members each from the majority party, and two from the minority party represented on the six-member committee.

Councillors Daren Barnes and Marvell Sewell were selected to represent the People’s National Party (PNP), while Fearon Decarish and minority leader Devon Brown were the two Jamaica Labour Party representatives.

Newly elected PDC Chairman Petra Foster, who was attending her second HMC meeting in that position, was advised that Gardner would make contact with her to get the names of the two PDC representatives, one of whom will be appointed chairman.

Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels expressed pleasure at the renewed presence of the PDC at the HMC meetings, adding that their presence will assist the HMC to fulfil its responsibilities and duties in accordance with the laws of Jamaica.

“The financial year has just started, and so I think it is a good time for us to start having this committee in place to review the accounts of the HMC,” said Samuels.

Subsequent to the meeting, Foster told The Gleaner that the matter as to who will be selected to represent the PDC on the PAC will be decided at the PDC’s next meeting, which will be staged in another two weeks.