“No micromanagement from central Govt” – Minister Bulkan promises

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, April 6, 2018

Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan has laid bare the position embraced by the central government regarding its involvement in the affairs of local government, stating that the administration has no intention of meddling in the latter’s business.

Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan addressing NDC officials on the amended Act.

Minister Bulkan said the government has always supported a system which local authorities were left to administer their own affairs; something that was undermined for over two decades by the previous administration.

On Thursday, April 05, the minister met with mostly officials of Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDC) to discuss issues relating to Local Government at the West Demerara Secondary School.

Although officials of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) failed to appear at the meeting, Minister Bulkan still took the opportunity to address the local authority officials.

Minister Bulkan heard of many challenges facing some local authorities, particularly of NDC’s, having to report directly to RDC’s; something he said should not be happening.

The Coalition government was successful when, in 2015, it was able to see the passage and assent by President David Granger, of the Local Government Amendment Act Chapter 28:02.

The Act, Minister Bulkan said, gave local government organs the leeway to make decisions on their own, without the interference from Central Government.

“This state of affairs that existed for 51 years, the notion that the system of local government was considered to be unimportant, that mindset thwarted people’s perception of the scope of the Local government,” Minister Bulkan told the gathering.

The bill, which was put together by the APNU and AFC while in opposition, was not assented to by the former President, Donald Ramotar. Upon its ascension to office, the current administration was able to see its work come to fruition.

“You can’t have something that professes to be a democratic organ that the people have elected and have a legislation that allows someone else to dissolve that system,” Minister Bulkan said.

He said the only responsibility that is outside an authority or NDC, are those relating to foreign policy and defence.

“Any activity happening in your area, you are empowered under law to be involved, if not the initiator. There will always be the need for central government support and involvement…We are in transition, something new is being brought into being. We have heard of the challenges,” Minister Bulkan said.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

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