According to Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, the APNU+AFC Government has made significant progress in strengthening local government systems in the last three years. To consolidate all of these efforts, Bulkan told the Guyana Standard that the administration will continue to assist the Regional Administrations with the development of the Plans of Action for Regional Development (PARD).
In this regard, the Minister said that the PARD for Region Nine is in its final stage of consultations, and the input of the final two of 56 communities in the Region will be incorporated by the end of October. This follows a year of extensive consultative work. Bulkan said that the completion of the PARD for Region Nine is on track and an implementation plan will be developed to support the execution. In addition to this, Bulkan said that consultations have commenced in Region Six, while regional profiles are being developed by other regions as they prepare to develop PARDs.
Furthermore, Bulkan said that the Local Government Commission is tasked with providing oversight of the PARDs process and will continue to address matters related to regulation, staffing and disputes of local government bodies. He said that the work of the Commission will be geared towards supporting and improving the capacities of local government organs and promoting transparency and accountability.
Minister Bulkan said that the Local Government Commission has been allocated $110 million to carry out these and other works. Bulkan noted than an assessment of the Commission’s work for 2018 will be revealed during budget 2019 deliberations.
In addition to this, the Communities Minister noted that $1B has been transferred to Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and the nine Mayoralties. This is in an effort to boost their development programmes while ensuring that they are financially sufficient.