first_imgNewly elected Mayor of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) Patricia Chase-Green has said she welcomes with open arms any attempt by the Auditor General to carry out an audit of City Hall.New City MayorPatricia Chase-GreenA recently elected People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Councillor, Bishram Kuppen, just two days ago, joined the list of voices which previously called for an independent probe into the operations of City Hall. He said with the completion of Local Government Elections (LGE) and the appointment of a new Council, it was time that they get down with serious business of managing the affairs of the city.Kuppen said many citizens have expressed grave concern about transparency and accountability at City Hall, especially with the election of past members of the City Council, including the Mayor-elect and Chairman of the Finance Committee and some of its members who have been part of the administration at City Hall for many years.But even with these claims, the new Mayor said she has nothing to hide. She related that even before she became Deputy Mayor, serving under former Mayor Hamilton Greene, she had always been calling for an audit to be held.“Before I became Mayor or Deputy Mayor, I supported audits. I had also written to the Auditor General for him to come to City Hall to carry out an audit”, she told Guyana Times on Friday. She said back in 2012, she had written more than three letters for the then Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker for him to intervene and have the audits done, particularly because of the excessive spending and abuse of funds by then acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba. She said nothing to that effect has taken place.“So, I will not object to an audit. The Auditor General is free to come,” she told this publication. “I have nothing to hide,” she reiterated.The call for an audit was also made by newly elected Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan. He had said, following his swearing in last Friday, that a forensic audit is very much needed at City Hall, which has seen the presence and operation of a single Council for some 23 years. Duncan stated that an audit should be entered into in good faith.Following its ascension to office in May 2015, controversy began over the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change’s (APNU/AFC) decision to launch forensic audits into almost every State agency in the country, but failed to carry out one into the affairs of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council – an agency said to be plagued by repeated accusations of financial impropriety, which had been backed by several investigations.The City Council for years had failed to address the many issues facing the capital city of Georgetown. While the Council continuously blamed its inability to deal with the problems confronting the capital on the lack of financial resources, then Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker contended otherwise.Whittaker had previously declared that the Council lacked the political will under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government to actually commit to responding to the changing dynamics of the city and to provide improved services to residents.More specifically, Whittaker had pointed out that the Council has no serious debt recovery programme to capture the billions of dollars owed in taxes by businesses and residents. Instead, he explained, the Council continuously cried out that the Central Government did not provide adequate funds for it to effectively conduct its operations.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *