Local Govt Commission requests City Hall’s assets register

first_img…Town Clerk claims timeframe inadequateAs the audit continues into the financial operations of City Hall, the Local Government Commission has requested officials to submit the organ’s assets register.Acting Town Clerk Sherry JerrickActing Town Clerk, Sherry Jerrick informed during Monday’s statutory meeting that a deadline was given of October 26 to release the documents.“The Local Government Commission has written the Council requesting a copy of the assets register of the Council. There are a number of facets to it and they have given a deadline for submission for October 26, 2019,” she said.Contrary to this, she saw this timeline as an “unreasonable” one, and urged the Council to issue a correspondence asking for an extension. Jerrick then suggested an additional month before the submission can be made.“I’m seeking the indulgence of the Council to write the Local Government Commission, requesting an extension. It is a bit unreasonable. We would not be able to prepare that document and have that submitted on that time…I would suggest one month. I advise on one month. By 26th November, we can have it prepared and ready to be submitted,” the acting Town Clerk posited.Previous acting Town Clerk Sharon Harry-Munroe was sent on administrative leave by the Commission last August for failing to produce certain financial information which it had requested.The Commission is conducting an audit into City Hall based on a recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry which was headed by retired Justice Cecil Kennard. In July, reports surfaced that a large portion of documents was still outstanding for the audit to be completed.During the CoI hearings, finance records from the Audit Office were presented by the Audit Manager, Dhanraj Persaud, which showed unaccountability for millions of dollars. Persaud showed that Central Government, through the Communities Ministry, had supplied funds for city restoration projects at a sum of $300 million in 2015 and in 2016, another $200 million was injected into the initiative which totalled to an overall balance of $500 million.However, when checks were made into the pieces of evidence presented for the expenditure of these projects, $70.489 million was unaccounted for.“For 2016, Council did not produce evidence to account for amount totalling $70.489 million,” he said.It was related that the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has a history of failing to source records in the past years. Over the course of six years, which date back to the period from 2006 to 2011, there have been no financial records for the disbursement of monies at City Hall. Additionally for the year 2005, documents were submitted but an audit could not be completed because the files were “damaged”.Persaud said, “A few documents were submitted [in 2005] but those are the ones that were damaged”.The Audit Manager stood before the Commission, stating that his agency would’ve inquired about the absence of the report but no explanation was provided. In 2012, records were damaged but from 2013 to 2015, some amount of files was presented for auditing, for which they were able to inspect and extract information.last_img read more