Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the Government remains supportive of the role of Parish Development Committees (PDCs) in nation building.
“The Parish Development Committee is a non-partisan organization. It is a community-based organization and its tenets are not predicated on which political party you support,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at the National PDC Programme’s relaunch, at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in St. James on November 15.
The PDCs were relaunched under the new participatory governance framework, mandated in the Local Governance Act, 2016.
Under the Act, PDCs are now an integral part of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, with the Social Development Commission (SDC) functioning as the facilitator and regulator of all Committees.
The SDC is mandated to monitor and audit each committee to ensure their adherence to the stipulated operational guidelines.
The Commission will also administer the Parish Development Committee Grant which was established to support the PDCs’ administrative functions.
Each PDC is eligible for a $1 million in quarterly disbursements, once they apply to the SDC and meet the requisite criteria.
Details of the functions and requirements of critical stakeholders are listed in the Local Governance Partnership Agreement signed by Minister McKenzie, the Executive Director of the SDC, Dr. Dwayne Vernon, and all Mayors and PDC Chairpersons.
“There is no longer a need for the PDCs to worry about the funding because beginning in the new financial year 2019/20, full funding for the Parish Development Committees will be channelled through the Social Development Commission,” Mr. McKenzie assured.