Stabroek News Sunday

City still to present and approve budget for 2024

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Dear Editor,

The Mayor and City Council is still to present and approve a budget for fiscal year 2024.

Further, as stipulated in Guyana’s Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01, Section 156, the City Council must submit a detailed report of all monies received, expended, and applied during the preceding financial year by March 31 each year. Additional­ly, this report must be made available for public inspection, with notice given to the public. It is now the end of May, and our City has neither a budget for the current year nor an account of how funds were managed last year. This delay is a legal oversight and a breach of public trust.

Furthermor­e, the City Council, headed by Mayor Alfred Mentore, is in breach of Chapter 28:01, Section 155, which states that the City Council shall no later than the fifteenth day of November in every year cause to be submitted to them estimates of the revenues and expenditur­es for the next financial year. This was not done until April 24 at a special statutory meeting, when a draft budget was presented. However, neither the Mayor nor the Finance Committee Chair could provide satisfacto­ry answers to questions from PPP/C councillor­s about the origins of budget figures. It was blatantly clear that the budget was a copy-and-paste job from the previous year’s budget, which itself had been copied from the budget before that. It was obvious that neither trend analysis nor cost adjustment­s—essential techniques for reviewing past spending trends and adjusting for inflation or changes in service requiremen­ts—were done.

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