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(SNO) — It has been recommended that the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) refrain from engaging in unplanned capital projects without first considering its financial state.
This is one of several recommendations emanating from a report on the assessment of the operations of the CCC conducted four months ago.
That assessment, conducted by consultant Claudia Francis, resulted in a thawing of relations between the then Local Government Minister Fortuna Belrose and Mayor Peterson Francis.
Although Belrose has since denied the existence of bad blood between herself and the mayor, the latter has not been so forthcoming on that score.
Needless to say, Francis was not pleased on learning of the assessment, out of which it was further recommended that a concerted effort should be made by the chairman of the CCC and his financial controller to establish a more amicable working relationship for the good of the company and to improve the general work environment.
Other recommendations made by the consultant on the way forward for the CCC are the need to have a transparency policy and criteria for the awarding of contracts to individuals; the need for a strategic plan for the organization; the CCC should not attempt to operate without an approved annual budget; training for constabulary officers to be provided urgently and job descriptions developed for all staff.
Among the two dozen or so recommendations that came out of the assessment on the CCC operations, several had to do with funds. For instance one recommendation was for the organization to develop and approve financial procedures for the use of funds.
Another recommendation was for an external auditing firm to be contracted to conduct annual financial audits, while another was for a cap to be placed on funds expended by the chairman/mayor without the approval of the Council.
The report concluded that some councilors are more aware of the operations and projects of the Council than others and as such every effort must be made to ensure that all councilors are apprised of any planned projects.