…utility companies also unpaid
…Govt silent on payments
Weeks after it was reported that employees of the Local Government Commission are owed their January salaries, it has been confirmed that payments are yet to be made and the agency has been strapped in carrying out its work.
Speaking with Guyana Times on Saturday, an employee of the Commission related that there have been no engagements with staff about their salaries and no word is forthcoming on how these payments would be made. Adding to that, fees for other services provided such as utilities are still outstanding.
“Nobody was paid. No utilities were paid. Nothing. The commissioners are actually grounded. The people are going to work but we can’t do anything about it,” said the source.
This publication understands that these monies are supposed to be signed off by the Permanent Secretary, Emil Mc Garrell, of the Communities Ministry before it can be disbursed. However, it also needs to be approved by the Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan.
Since payments during early December, staffers have not received any payments to which it was insisted that these monies should have already been disseminated.
“They went through the details of the budget, both the Finance Ministry and the Local Government Commission. It was approved but the voucher wasn’t signed off so nobody received any money since the first part of December when payments were last made. Given from the fact that they paid very early in December, this money should’ve already been in. Apparently, this money is still administered under the Permanent Secretary and he still has to take instructions from Bulkan before singing them,” the employee had revealed.
It was claimed in previous reports that the Commission is a constitutional agency but there is some control from the Ministry, which hinders some operations.
“This is preventing the Commission from operating as a constitutional body. The Commission has to deal with appointments and dismissal and a host of things that the Minister would usually do. They have not recognised the Commission as a constitutional body. The Communities Minister still wants to be in control of the Local Government Commission.”
Letters were penned to the Attorney General, Basil Williams; Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and even President David Granger. However, a response is yet to be given.
“No one is dealing with this. The Commission has written the Attorney General several times as well as the Minister of State. They even wrote the President to bring it to his attention and no one is responding to these concerns. With the way the Commission is functioning, it is not an independent body but one that is being manipulated,” the source added.