It is heartening to know that Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, has warned the regional executives against corrupt practices during a meeting to refine the 2017 Work Programmes. But mechanisms should be put in place to stop the corrupt practices already taking place.
I have written two letters to the media where I outlined the corrupt practices of the Region 6 Tender Board and the poor budgetary planning which was inherent in the 2017 Region 6 Estimates.
In fact the planning of the capital works was mostly done by two individuals who grossly neglected to reflect the priority projects submitted by many of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC) much to the chagrin of the chairpersons and overseers.
These NDCs were asked to provide proposals which were then unceremoniously thrown aside.
This happened at my NDC as well. I was told by Vice Chairman Dennis Deoroop that he and the region’s engineer went through all the areas and they know exactly which project should be given priority.
I specifically raised this at the Budget meeting. I asked why the excavation of two main drainage canals in the Kilcoy/Hampshire NDC were not in the Budget and was told by the regional chairman that the region will use their excavators to do the work.
I have been hearing this for the past four months while my NDC has been experiencing flood after flood! What is the use of talking about community empowerment and local government when the NDCs do not have a say in the formulation of the Region’s Budget?
I do hope that the Region 6 REO will give an unbiased account to Minister Bulkan as to what actually is taking place at the Tender Board and who actually formulated the 2017 Budget.
I know that this REO has said on many occasions on his TV programmes that he is committed to wiping out corruption in Region 6.
It is time for him to walk the talk!
In conclusion, I must submit that to get rid of corrupt practices, they must be nipped at the bud and as the minister stated there must be a commitment at all levels to achieve the highest standards of accountability and transparency.
I must congratulate Minister Bulkan for realising that corrupt practices do exist and for taking such a stance and making such a commitment.
Regional Councillor –