Hinterland Regions to benefit from infrastructural development
A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change coalition Government will be phasing out central government’s domination and usurpation of Local Democratic Organs powers practiced by the former administration, says Ronald Bulkan, Minister of Communities.
The Minister highlighted this vision to staff of the Departments for Local Government and Regional Development during a recent introductory meeting at the Ministry’s Kingston boardroom.
He informed staff that the Ministry sees its task as equipping and empowering the local bodies to manage their own affairs and better serve communities. Moreover, the Ministry’s future role would be on of oversight in keeping with the laws governing Local Government.
Bulkan emphasized that the authors of the 1980 Constitution were aware out of experience that Guyana is too large to be effectively and efficiently managed from the centre and vested powers in the Local Democratic Organs. However particularly, for the past 15 years provisions relating to local democracy were honored in the breach.
The Ministry of Communities will be devoting its attention and resources to help develop the four hinterland regions. These regions are blessed with spectacular natural beauty and rich in resources but lack of opportunities and poverty overshadow the population. As such, Government will be focusing on job creation via sustainable economic ventures, infrastructure and community development to ensure residents have a good life.
The sorrowful state of the Local Democratic Organs and the hinterland regions is reflected in the conditions under which the staffers of the Departments for Local Government and Regional Development operate. The workers were vocal about their poor cramped working conditions that were ignored for years and interference in personnel matters.
Bulkan related that central to the vision David Granger’s Administration is improved working conditions for public servants, payment of decent wages and salaries, and permanent employment rather than contract employment. He added that there will be no interference in personnel matters and public servants would be given the opportunity to function as professionals.
Reflecting on President Granger’s charge to the country’s most senior public servants, Bulkan said the public service would be the engine to bring development to Guyana. He explained that public servants have to address the growing inequity and inequality in society. Moreover, they must be responsive to the needs of the people as well as resourceful, relevant and reliable.
Bulkan stressed that public servants cannot be politicians and pointed out the need for administrative neutrality and devotion to their job and duties. He noted that they must give impartial advice. He added that the central focus of public servants must be to serve the people.
Bulkan stressed that corruption would not be tolerated and accountability and transparency must be embedded in every transaction. In addition, public servants must perform their duties with impartiality, intelligence and integrity.