New Paramakatoi Village Council undergoes governance training

The recently elected Paramakatoi Village Council in Region Eight benefitted from comprehensive governance and accountability training, facilitated by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.

The one-day training exercise was held at Paramakatoi’s multipurpose building, and saw the participation of the toshao and senior councillors from the various satellite communities, receiving guidance and insights into their roles and responsibilities under the Amerindian Act of 2006.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai engaging the newly elected leaders

Community Service Officers (CSOs) who often assist the council in carrying out its administration duties, also participated in the sessions.

The skill-building workshop was led by Anil Roberts, the Principal Regional Development Officer of the Department of Governance and Community Development within the ministry.

During his presentation, Roberts touched on the various provisions outlined in the Amerindian Act including their legal obligation of submitting yearly financial reports to the ministry and how to manage the village’s accounts.

During brief remarks, Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai reiterated the importance of maintaining proper financial accountability in the execution of capital projects, funded by the government.

The training session was led by Anil Roberts, Principal Regional Development Officer – Department of Governance and Community Development

This is critical, she explained, as funds that are disbursed are thoroughly scrutinised by the Auditor General’s Office and examined by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The minister also reminded that Village General Meetings (VGMs) are to be held every three months so that people can be updated on the financial standing of their respective villages.

“The law stipulates that every quarter, Village General Meeting must be held and at that forum, the issue of finances is reported upon and that is where villagers or anyone who have a query…can ask the Village Council for clarity as it pertains to village account,” Minister Sukhai explained.

New toshao and councillors of the Paramakatoi Village Council benefitted from extensive training

The ministry, on an annual basis, allocates funds for the continuous training of leaders of the more than 240 villages Amerindian villages across the country, to better understand their functions and responsibilities.

Regional Chairman, Headley Pio, and Management Development Officer (MDO) responsible for Region Eight, Antonio George accompanied the minister.