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Minister of Local Government and Environment, Dean Peart, has called on local authorities to follow government procurement guidelines to ensure a greater level of transparency and accountability.
“I think transparency is important and we need to ensure that everything that we do in this Ministry will be scrutinized, will be watched carefully, and I want all of you to understand that. I believe that everything should be done this way,” he said, as he addressed a public sector procurement workshop held today (Sept. 7) at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
The meeting, conducted by the Office of the Contractor General, was designed to outline and clarify the government’s procurement process to the local authorities and to address and review the policies, practical applications and legal implications of the procedures.
Meanwhile, Minister Peart suggested that local authorities should get more control over the dispensation of funds being used for emergencies.
“I think it is important that we get clarity as to how local authorities utilise emergency funds. I notice when we have emergencies a letter comes to me.
I think each parish council should have their own emergency fund and it should be utilised for emergencies, and you today will decide what is an emergency,” he said.
In his remarks, State Minister, Harry Douglas noted that the Ministry has been “working assiduously with the parish councils to make them more independent”. “We are in the process to ensure that they (parish councils) take responsibility for everything. In the different parish councils they have different ideas about what is an emergency .you are going to have it all from the Contractor General’s office today. so when we are through, we will have a workable document that everybody participates in,” he emphasized.