The forensic audit report on the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) has
finally made its way to Cabinet. For the next week, it will be the subject of an intense review by the administration.
This is according to Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman. He told members of the media during a post Cabinet conference, yesterday, that the Cabinet members have agreed to review the report individually and will deliver comments on their position at the next sitting meeting next week.
The forensic audit report was prepared by Chartered Accountant, Anand Goolsarran. The 80-page document details numerous cases of financial improprieties by the former directors of NICIL as well as its current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Winston Brassington.
In the report, Goolsarran recommended that moves be made to institute criminal and/or disciplinary actions against all those responsible for the interception of State revenues totaling $26.858 billion in violation of Articles 216 of the Constitution and the related sections of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMA).
He noted that disciplinary action is provided for under the following sections of the FMA Act: (a) Section 48 — Misuse of public moneys; (b) Section 49 — Liability for loss of public moneys; and (c) Section 85 — Liability of an official.
Goolsarran also called for the institution of criminal and/or disciplinary actions against all those responsible for violating Article 217 of the Constitution by causing expenditure to be incurred without parliamentary approval.
He said that charges are in order for all those responsible for ignoring National Assembly Resolution
No. 32 of December 17, 2012, requiring NICIL to pay over to the Consolidated Fund “all revenues and proceeds from the sale of all State properties, except for those necessary administrative costs for maintaining and running its operations annually.”
The Chartered Accountant called for NICIL to be liquidated and for the appointment of a Receiver to oversee the liquidation process. He said, too, that Government should re-activate the Privatisation Unit as a department of the Ministry of Finance to manage the Government’s residual investments after liquidation proceedings have concluded. In this regard, he noted that the existing staff of NICIL could be transferred to the Ministry of Finance.
Goolsarran also recommended for his report to be forwarded to the State Assets Recovery Unit, with a view to recovering any State assets/properties that might have been improperly and illegally transferred to third parties.
He believes that there should be a further independent audit to examine in detail transactions over the last six years, given that the scope of his report covered the period 2001 to May 2015.
“In addition, considering the hostile, arrogant and demeaning response to my preliminary draft report as well as certain restrictions placed on this audit, it would be desirable for the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director to proceed on leave to facilitate the transaction audit,” Goolsarran added.
He said that Government may wish to consider whether it wishes to retain the services of the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director in light of the findings and conclusions contained in the report.
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