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Jun 21, 2022

Finances at Belmopan City Hall Improve Since Elections

And while we spoke with the financial heads of the Belmopan City Council, we also took the opportunity to ask about the current financial situation of the council. Viewers will recall that soon after Mayor Sheran Palacio took office, she revealed that the council was not only flat broke, but indebted to the tune of millions of dollars to its creditors. While the debt is still huge, there’s been an about-turn in the system that has been put in place that deals with the council’s finances.


Shirlene Gillian

Shirlene Gillian, City Administrator, Belmopan

“We are in a huge amount of debt and bear in mind that although we are improving operations, that doesn’t take away from the magnitude of the responsibility that the Council has – it’s laden with debt. And we’re trying to find constructive and creative ways to manage that debt. There’s been a lot of effort put on cleaning up our records, ensuring processes and internal controls are put in place and we are doing that. We’re at the point now where all the H.O.D.s (heads of departments) have been working very steadily of the job descriptions for every position that we have to ensure it’s clearly outlined. We prepare internal financial reporting monthly.”


Marion Ali

“These things were never in place?”


Shirlene Gillian

“No, no. So we are making strides where we not only have accountability but we have transparency in the operations, and we want integrity in the information.”


Melvyn Edenojie

Melvyn Edenojie, Finance Director, Belmopan City Council

“Finances have improved over the last twelve, thirteen months. As a matter of fact, we realize that on several occasions over the years, employees had issues where salaries were not met to time. We have several memos that came out where people were not being paid to time. In the last year, we’ve not had any issues with payroll. We’ve conserved our spending because we’re thinking of sustainable financial development. We’ve met payroll on time. We actually have a financial audit coming up shortly. Our finances are going to be audited for the last five years, up to this year. And that speaks volumes of what we’re doing at the Council. We also had an audit with Local Government recently. That was on the thirty-first of March, through the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Local Government, which is our parent ministry, basically came in and did an annual audit. They came in again in April, I think it was the fifteenth of April they did another financial audit and they have spoken highly of the Council. Thanks to the competent team we have at the office, the Accounts Department. So we’ve moved from being at sixty, seventy percent. The banks are happy with us. We had a meeting with the bank a few ago. They were quite surprised with what our finances look like.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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