See full statement from A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change Member of Parliament (MP), Ganesh Mahipaul:
The Secretary to the Local Government Commission appears to be under considerable political pressure from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. Either that or he is simply power drunk and stepping beyond his remit.
On November 18, 2020 the Secretary to the Local Government Commission, Nickalai Pryce wrote all Town Clerks and Overseers (of Neighbourhood Democratic Councils) regarding a baseline survey. Mr. Pryce instructed the Town Clerks and Overseers to satisfy his request and complete the survey by December 18, 2020. In the Circular No. 5/2020, Mr. Pryce claimed that it is the Local Government Commission that is requesting the information.
On December 8, 2020 Mr. Pryce wrote to His Worship the Mayor of Corriverton claiming that he was instructed to send the Municipal Treasurer on administrative leave.
On December 11, 2020 Mr. Pryce wrote to Town Clerk (ag) Candacy Nelson of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown claiming that he was instructed not to grant the deferral of vacation leave for a staff member of the City Council.
Section 13, subsection 1 and 2 of the Local Government Commission Act 2013 (Act No. 18 of 2013) which speaks to the functions of the commission are clear:
The commission shall have powers to deal with all matters relating to the regulation and staffing of Local Government Organs including employment and dismissal of staff and with dispute resolution within and between Local Government Organs, and in particular shall:
(a) Monitor and review the performance and implementation of policies of all Local Government Organs, including policies of taxation and protection of the environment;
(b) Monitor, evaluate and make recommendations on policies, procedures and practices of all Local Government Organs in order to promote effective local governance;
(c) Investigate any matter under the purview and propose remedial action to the Minister, whenever and wherever necessary;
(d) Monitor and review all existing and proposed legislation and or policies and measures relating to Local Government Organs and make recommendations for any legislation or any amendments to any legislation and or policy to the Minister;
(e) Examine and propose ways of enhancing the capacity of Local Government Organs.
(2) The commission shall deal with all matters relating to staffing of Local Government Organs and in particular shall:
(a) Be responsible for employment, transfer, discipline and dismissal of staff and
(b) Approve of remuneration, superannuation, training, leave and promotion of staff.
Mr. Pryce is well aware, but for the avoidance of doubt I wish to remind him that the life of the most recent Local Government Commission ended on October 23, 2020 and there is currently no commission in place. The Secretary to the Commission acts on the instruction of the Commission and therefore it is passing strange, to say the least, that Mr. Pryce has claimed in his missives to the Local Government Organs that he was instructed. The question that lingers now is, by whom was Mr. Pryce instructed?
In the absence of an active, functioning and empowered Local Government Commission, no one has the authority to instruct the Secretary to the Commission and moreover, the secretary does not have the authority to usurp the powers of the commission. The Commission is a constitutional agency and is catered for in Law under the Local Government Commission Act 2013 (Act No. 18 of 2013).
As it stands, the actions of Mr. Pryce are illegal and unconstitutional. Mr. Pryce is therefore advised to retract all correspondence dated post October 23, 2020 sent by him to Local Government Organs or face the necessary consequences.