Sectoral Presentation by Hon. Desmond McKenzie

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie

Story Highlights

  • I want to thank the Most Honourable Prime Minister for the confidence he continues to repose in me, to continue the transformation of Local Government. Let me declare at the outset that this Administration is the most progressive to have governed Jamaica in decades, especially in relation to Local Government.
  • I make that statement with confidence, as someone who has observed and been involved in the history of local government over the last 41 years.
  • This Administration is infusing Local Government with new life, through innovative programmes that are restoring its intimacy and meaning to our people, and I am humbled and proud to be the one who is now shaping the present and the future of local government through this time of fundamental change.

Mr. Speaker,

I want to thank the Most Honourable Prime Minister for the confidence he continues to repose in me, to continue the transformation of Local Government. Let me declare at the outset that this Administration is the most progressive to have governed Jamaica in decades, especially in relation to Local Government.

I make that statement with confidence, as someone who has observed and been involved in the history of local government over the last 41 years.

This Administration is infusing Local Government with new life, through innovative programmes that are restoring its intimacy and meaning to our people, and I am humbled and proud to be the one who is now shaping the present and the future of local government through this time of fundamental change.

The process of transforming this level of Government for national prosperity involves not only the implementation of major policies and programmes, but also the investment of significant money and time in the social and physical infrastructure of Local Government.

Two weeks after the November 2016 Local Government Elections, we began, through Regional Orientations, the official process of preparing new and returning Councillors for the higher levels of service delivery and governance expected of them.

Additionally, all the Auditors in the 14 Municipal Corporations were trained in Risk-based Auditing. The three Local Authorities for which audits were not completed in 2016/17 (Portmore, Portland, Kingston and St. Andrew) were audited in 2017/18.

As a result, there have been significant improvements in the Audit function within the Local Authorities. Auditors are now preparing and operating from their Risk-based Plans, records are being maintained and Management is being formally held to account through responses required for written reports.

Similarly, we are seeing positive signs resulting from the orientations and meetings with the elected representatives.

In this regard, I must identify the Hanover Municipal Corporation as one of those that has worked hard to reverse the many incidents of non-compliance that had made it a frequent subject of the Contractor-General’s Reports.

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