31 Village Councils to be audited by February – preparations underway for Village elections
DPI, Guyana, Friday, January 12, 2018
Financial audits will be conducted in some thirty-one (31) Indigenous Villages Councils by the end of February, in preparation for the upcoming Village Election.
In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affair Sydney Allicock explained that the aim of the audit is to provide a clear understanding of each community’s financial situation so as to better inform incoming village councils or otherwise on its functioning.
Audits are conducted three months prior to planned Village Elections. This is in keeping with the Amerindian Act 2006 which stipulates that ‘the Minister shall arrange a general audit, financial and documentary, before the date of Village Council elections.’ The audits are led by an independent auditor.
The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affair has been facilitating audits since 2015. However, due to a lack of resources, audits were not conducted in most of the communities.
Minister Allicock has confirmed that letters were sent to the respective regional administrations and Toshaos, with regards to the hosting of the Village Elections. According to him, the ministry is awaiting feedback from the regions, to move forward with additional plans.
Village Councils are managed by a Toshao (chairman), secretary, treasurer, and councillors, and are tasked with ensuring that the community’s finances and assets are properly managed.
Over 200 Indigenous communities and villages will be conducting elections for Toshaos and Village Councillors.
To be elected as a Toshao, a person must be 18 years and over, and must be eligible to stand as Councillor and should not have held the position for the two terms immediately preceding his or her nomination.
By: Synieka Thorne
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