JIS News

KINGSTON — President of the Association of Local Government Authorities (ALGA), Milton Brown, has lauded the local authorities for the achievements that have been made recently, in terms of their operations.

In his message read by Town Clerk, Errol Greene, during a Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) meeting yesterday (November 8), in downtown Kingston, Mr. Brown noted that with the support of the Department of Local Government, all accounting processes of local authorities are being modernised.

"The accounts in all parish councils are in the best state ever, and some councils have audited financial accounts for the years 2008 to 2009 and 2009 to 2010," he said.

Mr. Brown noted further that the building process has been improved to the level where 97 per cent of all applications are processed within 90 days across the country.

He also highlighted the fact that a Local Public Accounts Committee (LPAC) has been established in all parishes and that members of civil society now serve on several parish council committees.

In the meantime, the ALGA President put forward several proposals aimed at realising the objective of making local authorities autonomous and to improve service, including extending the life of the parish councils to four years, rather than the current three.

He also suggested that Municipal courts be established to address local issues; the sphere of responsibility for local authorities be defined with particular emphasis on joined-up government; and the sourcing of funding for local government be defined and dedicated.

"We propose that the agreed position, as it relates to Local Government being written into the Constitution, be implemented without delay; that the three strategic laws that were submitted to our Ministry be reviewed by Cabinet and sent to the relevant Parliamentary Committee for drafting legislation," he said.


By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter