CFO lambasted for late report

2009-10-09 00:00

CITY chief financial officer Roy Bridgmohan came in for severe criticism yesterday when he tried to table a last-minute report at an executive committee (Exco) meeting.

When Bridgmohan circulated a report about the old Alexandra Park bandstand, Exco members cried foul and accused him of tabling a “half-baked” report at the last minute.

Deputy Mayor Mervyn Dirks express surprise that the report had not been circulated; it was not on the agenda and Exco members had not been informed.

“Why is it when this appears in the paper that we all of a sudden have a report on it,” he said.

Dirks was referring to a story in Tuesday’s Witness on Tuesday. It reported that city residents want to know why the municipality has done nothing to restore the 117-year-old, one-of-a-kind bandstand that was destroyed by a freak storm in January.

The Witness went on to report that Bridgmohan has been sitting on the file for months and has yet to put it before council. He finally tabled it yesterday.

ANC councillor Pops Chetty rejected the report, saying Exco cannot approve reports that it has not had time to peruse.

“The problem we are having as Exco is that we are getting reports that are half-baked and half-done. Can officials do things properly instead of at the last minute?” he asked.

ANC councillor Themba Zungu asked whether the report had gone to the relevant portfolio committee before coming to Exco. Bridgmohan said no.

Dirks said Exco will discuss the item only after it has gone to the relevant committee.

DA councillor Rodger Ashe was outraged that the restoration of the bandstand has been sidelined for so long and asked that the matter be treated with urgency.

He said it is odd that the matter is being discussed only after it was raised in the press; he said he had raised it weeks ago in a committee meeting.

“If things were dealt with correctly, then this wouldn’t happen,” he said.

Bridgmohan was not the only official to face the wrath of Exco members. When municipal manager Rob Haswell criticised a tabled item by saying it could not be considered because it is not in the budget, DA councillor Bill Lambert gave him a tongue-lashing.

“How many things have you by-passed by Exco that have not been in the budget? That’s very rich,” he said.

Zungu nodded in agreement, saying: “I agree with Lambert. You’ve been responsible for contracts worth millions, which were not in the budget.”

Haswell opted not to respond.

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