Latest update March 24th, 2023 12:59 AM
Jun 25, 2016 News
The forensic audit into the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has made strong recommendations that the Community Development Councils (CDC), a group that has been described as a political group,
be absorbed into the Authorities’ operations.
This is because in the forensic audit report for the period November 1, 2011 to May 31, 2015, prepared by Nigel Hinds Financial Services, it was determined that the CDC was an unnecessary expense, actually duplicating the work done by NDIA.
The auditor noted that the unnecessary cost in overall administration, which could be reduced if the CDC’s entire operations was restructured and absorbed by NDIA. And there is more.
According to the auditor, “It is the general opinion that the CDC was also used as a mechanism to create employment for the governing party supporters.”
The forensic audit had highlighted a situation where millions of dollars were provided to Community Development Councils (CDC) for years, but there are no audited financial statements.
According to the auditor, Nigel Hinds and Associates, the CDC received $426.2M for the years 2013 and 2014 for cleaning and maintenance work to be carried out on channels and canals. When it came time for the forensic auditor to audit the books, however, there was a problem.
“NDIA was unable to provide us with information for years 2011, 2012 and January to June 2015,” the auditor had stated in the report.
“There is no evidence from the management at NDIA that audited financial statements were ever prepared by the CDC.”
According to the report, the CDC management is required to submit activity reports to the finance office of NDIA, along with copies of registrations, monthly financial statements and bank statements for review. This is something set out by the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
In addition, engineers at NDIA are required to review the cost and benefits of all projects initiated by CDC’s. However, the auditor stated that based on information available, the management of NDIA was hardly involved in exercising oversight in financial or engineering matters.
“It is difficult to assess its stewardship in the absence of audited financials and interviewing the officers that are involved in the day to day activities.”
According to the report, the CDC was an initiative from former President Dr. Cheddi Jagan who, after winning the National Elections in 1992, challenged all communities to refresh the landscape, and to restore the country’s image by cleaning up all canals, parapets, lawns and backwards.
“NDIA with the national responsibility for drainage and irrigation in Guyana has taken the CDC mandate upon itself by supporting these organizations to reduce the incidence of flooding on the coastland in Guyana.”
“We have extremely limited information of the actual operations of this body and the number of CDCs’ that exist in Guyana.”
The CDC Direction Agency was headed by Ms. Philomena Sahoye-Shury, who was dismissed in June of last year, after consistently failing to report to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
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