Home News Independent accountant advising City Hall on managing money
An independent accountant is advising the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) on managing its Treasury Department, Mayor Ubraj Narine has said. During a recent press conference, Mayor Narine revealed that the Council has been seeking the assistance of independent experts in handling various aspects of its administration.
The Treasury Department is responsible for administering the affairs of the City Council, including the collection of all revenues. Its functions also include making all payments on behalf of the municipality. In recent times, the Treasury Department has made headlines in relation to financial irregularities which has seen several staffers being suspended and sent on leave by the Local Government Commission (LGC).
Following investigations, the LGC has advised the M&CC to take the necessary disciplinary actions against five junior staffers. The five employees would usually collect monies from various markets in Georgetown and deposit it into the Council’s bank account. However, after doing so, they would then withdraw the monies.
Reports are that the discovery was made by controversial City Treasurer John Douglas and Town Clerk (ag) Sherry Jerrick.
Earlier this year, the LGC had endorsed a recommendation to have disciplinary measures taken against several officers after monies belonging to the Council were found in a bag in one of the entity’s vehicles.
According to reports, on June 20, 2019, a bag with revenues collected from Bourda Market was found in a vehicle inside City Hall’s compound. At the time, the bank drop had already been made, and the bag with the money was not deposited as was required.
Those suspended were: City Treasurer John Douglas (two months), Iva Bryan (two months), Sonia Pit (three weeks), and Yolanda Forde (one month). Meanwhile, Clerk of Markets Sherlock Lovell, along with Felicia McRae were issued warning letters. Into this first month of suspension, Douglas was called back out to work by the M&CC.
Moreover, back in August 2019, Town Clerk (ag), Sharon Harry-Munroe was sent packing after failing to comply with orders of the LGC to provide financial documents requested by the Office of the Auditor General.