City Hall CoI… failed to issue pension payments for 19 monthsThe Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been awaiting payments from the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) for rates and taxes dating back to 2016, while there has also been examination of pension payments to a broker insurance company that has not been paid for the past 19 months.Officials from the GRA submitted their evidence at Friday’s Commission of Inquiry (CoI), where retired Justice Cecil Kennard continued to probe the matter with support from the legal assistant Sherwin Benjamin.Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Ron Simbhu told the Commission that City Hall is guilty of outstanding taxes, which have been owed for 2016, 2017 and 2018.While they were unable to divulge the amount as part of its agreements with the client, Simbhu positively stated that these payments were not made.Instances of outstanding payments continued throughout the hearing as the Deputy Managing Director of Insurance Brokers Guyana Limited, Ewart Adams was called to the stand to testify.It was related that for the past 19 months, the M&CC has not made any monetary payments to the company under its pension plan. It is understood that the Council was required to disburse the monies to the broker after which it would be distributed to the subject insurance company so that the pensioners can uplift their benefits.“The last payment of $776,523 was in February of 2017,” Adams said.It is estimated that over $14.5 million is unpaid for the pension plan, with an additional $9,566,304 for the fire and motor insurance payments.Adams indicated that the issue is of concern to the pensioners since they are not receiving their complete pensions. Furthermore, he noted that he would have tried to engage officials of the Council as to when the full payments would be made, as well as to have the pension plan registered.However, he “was given the royal runaround” by City Treasurer John Douglas.“I attempted to see the City Treasurer three weeks ago, without any success. He advised his secretary to check the following week. On my return to City Council the following week, it has not been rectified.”Upon expressing his dissatisfaction at the management and with the way the Council is functioning, the Deputy Managing Director is of the view that the entire body should be overhauled.“I do not know how they keep their records but I know in the past, we were approached to provide documents to the Mayor and City Council which would help them to reconstitute their financial affairs.”The inquiry comes at a time when numerous complaints were made by staffers of the Council and other agencies, regarding the expenditure and decisions which were taken by the Council. So far, it was heard that lands were leased by Town Clerk Royston King, which were not owned by the Council and he also reneged on a tax waiver for Giftland Mall. Additionally, over $70 million from the $500 million funding for the city restoration project is unaccounted for.Since September 21, 2018, the Town Clerk was instructed to proceed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. It was announced that the Deputy Town Clerk Sharon Munroe-Harry would perform the duties as acting Town Clerk.