In an attempt to save money and stamp out corruption, there will be a re-registration of all people employed under the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP), said Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan.
Rambachan had said there was corruption in the programme as people with stable jobs were signed up in the URP programme and collecting salaries.
"I'm doing a re-registration exercise of the programme that will be starting in two weeks and the way we are doing it is in fact to eliminate that kind of duplication where people would be working on their substantive job but collecting URP salaries," said Rambachan.
He was speaking to the Express last Wednesday in Laventille where Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar met residents.
Rambachan said tenders will go out to source a private firm to assist in the re-registration exercise.
He said some $389 million was spent on the programme in this fiscal year and he anticipates that URP will not be depleted with the upcoming budget but will be operating in a more efficient and effective manner.
The Minister said URP is being transformed to doing more productive work and alleviating problems people have in communities.
Rambachan said there are many challenges with respect to drainage throughout the country and URP workers are now doing minor construction work in terms of box drains and culverts.
He said he has also been meeting with the people at various municipal corporations and trying to take a hands-on approach in getting their issues resolved.
Rambachan added that he has also started using mediators to settle disputes between neighbours who may have issues that they take to the corporations.
Local Government, he said, was focused on three objectives — to deliver better quality service in a more responsive fashion; to facilitate better communities; and to build stronger councils.