…evidence suggests otherwise
Former Public Service Minister, Dr Jennifer Westford, has said that she does not know why she is being
implicated in the transferral of state assets to private personnel. She is said to be the beneficiary of the transfer of state vehicles.
Dr Westford said that the transactions occurred since 2010. She added that she is unaware why she is being implicated at this time. But the evidence suggests otherwise.
The documents pertaining to the transfer of the assets surfaced in sections of the media last week. They appeared to implicate Dr Westford as well as the four persons.
One of the documents showed that on April 14, 2015, Chief Personnel Officer Margaret Cummings sent a letter to Head of the GRA, Khurshid Sattaur. The letter requested a change of registration for eight vehicles from the then Public Service Ministry to then Minister Jennifer Westford and the four men.
Another shows that after the May 11 Regional and General Elections, the GRA head replied to the letter but addressed it to the Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Ministry, Hydar Ally. Sattaur had asked the Permanent Secretary to reissue the request of transfer since the government had changed.
Ally responded on June 15, saying that the request was withdrawn and that he only had knowledge of the original letter. Furthermore, Ally wrote to Westford on May 29, last, asking for six of the said vehicles. He also asked for the location of a black Kia Sorrento bought for over $9M from Rudisa Motor Company in July 2013.
Further, there are receipts showing the payments for the vehicles ranging from $300,000 to $2.1M from Dr Westford, along with the other four for their vehicles. It is unclear whether
these are the full amount, but the receipts are all dated the same day, July 18, 2014.
Earlier this week, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, said that the sending of two staff members from the Ministry of the Presidency on administrative leave was done to facilitate an investigation into the suspicious transfer of state assets to private individuals.
According to Minister Harmon, Personnel Officer Margaret Cummings, and Joyann Taylor, were sent on leave following reports that the two were involved in the suspicious transferral.
Harmon noted that it was brought to his attention that there were some documents which had been sent to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) that were purportedly signed by Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Ministry, Hydar Ally. This was done under Ally’s letterhead but signed by someone else.
“He had no knowledge of this transaction,” said Minister Harmon.
It was Ally who directed Harmon to the discrepancy in the paperwork forwarded to the Guyana Revenue Authority for the transfer of eight vehicles. Ally showed Harmon that the signatures of Cummings and Taylor were found on the receipts for the documentation, sale and transferral of the vehicles.
Former Minister of Public Service, Dr. Westford had been implicated in the matter along with Gary Beaton, Wayne Walker, a close friend of the former Minister; Delroy Lewis; and Osbert McPherson.
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