Portmore Citizens Advisory Council
Background The Portmore Municipality is located in the parish of St. Catherine in Jamaica that was enacted through an act of parliament after nine years of agitation by the citizens who petitioned the Government for this status..
The Portmore Citizens Advisory Council (PCAC) describes itself as an organization through which the citizens of Portmore are given the opportunity to participate in the governance process of the municipality. The organization is made up of several citizens’ groups and professional organizations. A directly elected Mayor and Councillors govern the Municipality, with operational oversight from the PCAC. The PCAC has a Local Public Accounts Committee (LPAC) that was launched in 2007 and has the power to audit and investigate the financial activities of the Council. An Act of Parliament passed in 2003 and duly signed by the then Minister of Local Government approved these powers. This means that the PCAC is a legally recognised institution.
The organization has an office located at the Portmore Pines Plaza, under an approved usage agreement. This governance model is the first to have been established in the island. The PCAC meets once per month and investigates complaints from citizens. The PCAC secretary is Carroll McLean and be contacted through the Office at the Portmore Pines.
Legal Recognition of the PCAC In a review of the Portmore Municipal Council completed by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, University of the West Indies, it was stated that: The PDCs generally lack recognition under the law but the PCAC is legally recognised as noted under section 7 of the Charter of the Municipality of Portmore to be established within sixty days of its inauguration…the PCAC was strong in the period before June 2003 when the PMC was established and in 2005-2006 when the PCAC was galvanised by the toll issue that was associated with the construction of the Portmore leg of the Highway 2000. But effectiveness of this function, we were informed, has been bedevilled by the lack of a Secretariat and general lack of resources The paper also mentioned that: One of the past Chairmen revealed that the PCAC was able to raise funds to support the campaign and litigation that were associated with the Toll Road imbroglio. In other words, the PCAC has the capacity to mobilize resources and therefore should take on the challenge of developing a Financial and Fund Raising Strategy to offset their operational expenses.