Oct 15, 2012 News
NDIA Fraud revelation…
“This revelation is a vindication that there is massive institutional corruption in all state agencies and Ministerial Department.”
The Revelation of fraud at the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) involving senior officials “is a vindication of where money is coming from for many Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Government Officials to build mansions.”
This notion was expressed by leader of the Alliance For Change, Khemraj Ramjattan, whose Party holds seven seats in the National Assembly.
A field audit report on the operations of NDIA revealed several instances of fraud and conflict of interest, including sole sourcing of services, such as, the supply of fuel, recommended the dismissal of the entity’s CEO Lionel Wordsworth and Senior Section Engineer Aneel Chowbay.
Expressing no surprise of the fraud discovery and Wordsworth’s involvement, Ramjattan said “This was the same person, who months after being appointed CEO of NDIA, saw his wife who was working for $42,000 per month buy a house for $60M. This is vindication of their princely lifestyle and how it is sustained.”
While Government had acknowledged that there is some level of corruption in the system, Ramjattan believes that there is widespread corruption and misuse of state resources within Government agencies.
Ramjattan said, “This revelation is a vindication that there is massive institutional corruption in all state agencies and Ministerial Department.”
This newspaper was reliably informed that President Donald Ramotar is in possession of the report and has instructed Wordsworth to respond to it.
But, Ramjattan is not optimistic that anything would be done to the CEO, since he deems him (Wordsworth) a favourite of President Ramotar. He opined that the auditors who dared to reveal the corruption may have their contracts terminated.
Many internal audits are conducted and their findings are kept from the public. This should not be the norm, Ramjattan said. He suggested that these reports should be presented to Parliament and given to the media for dissemination to the public.
Unless the culture of transparency and accountability is cultivated, auditors will be unable to bring to the public’s attention corruption, Ramjattan said. “It will also have a serious effect on a number of auditors not wanting to do anything,” he added.
He related that the AFC is currently drafting its own Whistleblower Legislation and is grateful that Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman plans to get overseas expertise in drafting legislation.
The Attorney General, Anil Nandlall is being accused of holding a monopoly over the Parliamentary Draftsman. According to Ramjattan, “Nandlall doesn’t want to allow access to the Draftsman for the creation of the Whistleblower Legislation.
He stressed that once sunshine is brought to these institutions, the magnitude and depth of corruption being hidden by this Government will be known by all. Ramjattan stressed that Government prefers to highlight incidents such as what occurred in Agricola on Thursday last, than its thieving senior officials.
“That theft tears the country apart and gives impetus to those who see what is happening to behave as they did in Agricola. Just how we show national outrage for.
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