Prime Minister Andrew Holness has vehemently delivered a warning to a room full of local government authorities that sanctions will be applied to those found guilty of maladministration.
The warning came at the Local Governance Conference Jamaica 2018 held at the Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa on Tuesday July 17.
“As Mayors and Councillors you will know that several of your municipalities have come under investigation or are currently under investigations. That is part of the process of accountability and there will be sanctions applied once it is discovered and established that there is maladministration,” stated PM Holness.
He highlighted that, “If something goes wrong in the administration of the delegated authority then you have an obligation to report but you also have a duty to correct and to prevent the recurrence of the error of maladministration.”
“Local Government comes under the scheme of accountability that the government of Jamaica applies to all its agencies whether in central government or in local government itself,” he added, pledging to ensure that the systems of accountability will be strengthened.
He was delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the three-day conference (July 17-19) under the theme ‘Strengthening Responsiveness and Accountability within the Local Governance Framework’.
The Prime Minister outlined the importance and relevance of local government structures and the reassurance that, “The prosperity to which every single Jamaican aspires can only be achieved if government creates the enabling environment to empower our citizens. Within this context local government being the form of government closest to the people, has a special role to play in delivering critical services that directly impact and determines the quality of life they enjoy.”
Among the delegates present were Directors of Planning and Parish Disaster Coordinators to which Prime Minister Holness elaborated on aspects of the duty of the local government which is largely involved in preparing the minds of the citizens as it relates to the preparation for natural disasters. “The power of the Councillors sitting down with his voters and explaining to them the dangers that they face and having locally structured programmes to facilitate their move, there is nothing more powerful than that and that is local governance,” he said.