Significant change in stamping out corruption can only be had if all right-thinking citizens take a united stance against it. This is according to some of Guyana’s leading financial minds.
Specifically, Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram told Kaieteur News that the findings of the forensic audits launched by Government represent a grave embarrassment on the former administration. He insists that the future of good governance would rely on several changes, especially as it relates to the accounting community.
Ram said that there are already some charges recommended since the release of several audits and he expects there to be more. He added, “Even if no action were taken, the revelations of the audits would be an embarrassment to any Party or Government.”
He noted too that the findings of the forensic audits also paint a dark picture of how deep corruption ran in Guyana.
“I think it will reinforce the perception of corruption in Guyana. But I am very hopeful that action will be taken. The audits also point to the need to strengthen the Office of the Auditor General and the scope of the audits of state-owned and statutory bodies. I should also point out that there are several other entities in which there have been no similar audits.”
The attorney-at-law said that as a society, citizens need to be less tolerant of corruption and impropriety.
“I remain convinced that it was improper for Dr. Ashni Singh to be appointed Minister of Finance while his spouse was the holder of a top position in the Audit Office. Since she preceded him, his appointment by the PPP/C of her spouse as Minister was an act of professional indifference and irresponsibility.”
It was in May 2015 that the Granger-led administration began expending some $133M of taxpayers’ dollars on 45 of the 50 forensic audits to ascertain how the assets of the state were sold, disposed of or transferred under the previous administration.
The remaining five audits were sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Over 20 of the 50 forensic audit reports launched by Government have been released. These include the reports on the Marriott Hotel, the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Carifesta X 2008 and the acquisition of the water cannon by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Some of the firms contracted to conduct the forensic audits included Nigel Hinds Financial Service, Ram and Mc Rae and HLB Seebarran and Co. Chartered Accountant Anand Goolsarran along with Harryman Parmesar were also contracted to conduct several forensic audits.
Nigel Hinds Financial Service earned some $25M for auditing agencies such as the Guyana Oil Company Limited (Guyoil), the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) and the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest).
Ram and McRae audited the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Guyana Gold Board and the E-Governance Project among others.
Several audits were also launched in July last, while others started in later weeks.
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