first_imgRegion Five (Mahaica-Berbice) Chairman Vickchand Ramphal has expressed concern over the unauthorised spending of Government funds by Regional Executive Officer (REO) Ovid Morrison.The Chairman has also expressed concern over the continued disruption of Regional Democratic Council (RDC) meetings in that region by the coalition Councillors and the REO.Ramphal said it was unfortunate that their most recent meeting was also disrupted making it only one meeting for the year to have been concluded. He says as a result of what has been happening people could not receive the services which as taxpayers and citizens of the Region they are entitled to.“Our council cannot elaborate on issues affecting our people of Region Number Five and more importantly, we cannot scrutinise the spending of our Regional Executive Officer. We have seen recently that the Public Accounts Committee [PAC] had sent him back to the Region to get some information because of him not providing the information and the same is happening in the Region, he is not providing information to the finance committee so that it can properly scrutinise his spending in Region Five,” Ramphal stated.The Chairman described the REO’s actions as being undemocratic. He says he wants to work for the development of the Region, but has not been getting the support of the REO and coalition Councillors.Meanwhile, the alleged secrecy under which the REO of Region Five operates allows for him to spend Government funds as if they were his own.“The Council is not being aware of the tendering of contracts, not being brought aware of monies that have been realised from savings from the previous year, and so monies are being spent without Council’s approval. This is highly unacceptable; that means that democracy is not prevailing in this region,” the Regional Chairman stressed.Making mention of the embarrassment the Region was put through when the REO was placed before the PAC to answer questions based on the Auditor General’s report, Regional Vice Chairman Rion Pieters says the breaches of contractual regulations by the REO should not go unnoticed.More recently, he added, the REO appointed a chairperson for the RDC against the regulations which govern such procedures.PAC Chairman Irfaan Ali recently told Morrison that as REO he needed to ensure efficiency, accountability, fairness and transparency, in order to afford every person equal access and equal opportunity to whatever is available in the Region.last_img