Jul 08, 2016 News
A Cabinet sub-committee that had been established to examine the audit reports for criminal and negligent conduct is continuing its work.
Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, told the Government Information Agency recently that “the special sub-committee looks at the audits and decides who will be prosecuted in terms of sending it to the police, while the disciplinary issues are sent to the Board of Directors of the particular entity for corrective actions.”
Several forensic audits were last year ordered by the Coalition Government to determine how state agencies were being operated. In addition to irregularities, there was worrying evidence of systems being manipulated and even blatantly ignored.
With the majority of forensic audits commissioned by government completed, there have been calls from different quarters for charges to be laid against several former government operatives.
Minister Sharma said that citizens should show patience, because investigations stemming from the audits are delicate and time consuming.
“I refer you to the Colonial Life Insurance Company, Trinidad issue; the Commission of Inquiry started in March 2011 and was completed in May of 2013. It accumulated millions of pages of information – that is the amount of paperwork. It is not anything simple,” Sharma explained.
The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) of the Guyana Police Force has been tasked with investigating alleged criminal acts identified by the auditors. According to the Minister, SOCU is the most qualified department to investigate alleged crimes identified by the forensic auditors.
“The department with the most experience is SOCU, the entity responsible for investigating financial crimes. The opposition is complaining about SOCU investigating audits despite being the most qualified unit. Would you have a team of qualified people paying them every month sitting down doing nothing?” Sharma asked.
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