JIS News

Mayor of Portmore, Councillor George Lee has suggested that the administrative officers who are responsible for advising municipal councils on the awarding of contracts, be re-educated in the area of procurement guidelines.
This he said should include all persons involved in the process, such as the political directorate, Secretary Managers, administrators and technical staff. “This is critical and necessary,” stressed Mayor Lee in an interview with JIS News, “as these persons (Secretary Managers and technical staff) are the ones who will advise parish councils”.
He explained that four months ago the Auditor General completed a study of Portmore’s operations and made recommendations, which the Council executed immediately. “We were comfortable after that (audit) that we were on the right track but we subsequently found out that we were not,” he said.
On Wednesday (May 24) Minister of Local Government and Environment, Dean Peart issued a statement effectively informing local government officers that if the guidelines as set out by government were not followed, appropriate action would be taken. The release further stated that there would be greater monitoring of all local authorities, which would include random auditing without prior notice.
In light of this, Councillor Lee said it was now critical that efforts be made to have all staff, across the board, trained in all aspects of the government’s procurement guidelines.
“People need training in all aspects of the procurement guidelines,” he said “to ensure that they are fully understood, to the letter, and that there will be no misunderstandings thereafter,” he said.