A forensic audit at the East Port-of-Spain Company Limited (EPoS) has unearthed a scheme of unauthorised cheque payments to the value of approximately $16 million to a company affiliated with an...
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Regional bodies told to monitor contractors
Expressing dissatisfaction at the way the regional coordinating committees are being run, Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein has called on local government practitioners to ensure there is transparency and accountability in all operations.
Addressing practitioners at a workshop at San Fernando City Hall auditorium last week, Hosein said, “At the regional coordinating committee level, I am not hearing good things. It is not happening the way it should.
“People from State companies like T&TEC, WASA, Traffic Management, SWRHA are supposed to be there, but some come to the meetings and others don’t. I am requesting each mayor and chairman write each representative to ensure participation.”
Saying it was important to utilise public funds prudently, Hosein said, “There must be transparency and as we go into this new fiscal year we have to ensure that the monies allocated to us are spent wisely.”
He called on all councillors to identify projects in their areas, promising that by the end of January next year both himself and the permanent secretary Desdra Bascombe will visit each project.
He also warned that contractors should not be paid until the engineer and quality control inspectors assessed projects to ensure it is done up to standard.
“Money is not as it used to be so make sure and let these contractors work for their money. Before you pay them off make sure the engineer visits the job-site and ensures that the work in well done up to standard,” Hosein said.
Hosein also challenged Bascombe and deputy permanent secretary Stara Ramlogan to ensure that the passing out of the first batch of 26 municipal police takes place in the newly-upgraded police station at King’s Wharf, San Fernando by the middle of next year.
Calling on the practitioners to pay special attention to the elderly and the disabled in their communities, Hosein said, “We will all reach old age one day. Speak kindly to people. All they need is a kind word.”
Meanwhile, Ramlogan said the Government has started filling vacancies in the municipal police department. She said the Public Service Commission appointed 77 temporary officers, 51 of whom started work last February. She said 26 more will be passed out soon, adding that 4,389 applications were received and 541 applicants were short-listed.