Nov 09, 2016 News
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) is investigating the misappropriation of millions of dollars at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. That Ministry was last headed by Dr Frank Anthony during the rule of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C).
Under the new government, the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport has been made a department of the Ministry of Education.
Auditor General, Deodat Sharma, has highlighted several instances of malpractice at the culture department while it was still a Ministry.
In his latest report, Sharma said that the sum of $1.614M was expended for consultancy fees. However, auditors did not receive evidence that tender board procedures were followed. He said that none of this was presented for audit examination.
Also, Sharma found that $2.511M was paid to an overseas travel agent for airfare for a “senior official” and one other to attend a conference. The auditor said that the National Procurement And Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) did not adjudicate on these transactions. Further, Sharma said that it appears as if “the expenditure was misappropriated in the case of the purchase of airfares.”
Sharma said that in 2015, the NPTAB awarded a contract in the sum of US$18,458 to procure additional equipment for the Synthetic Track to the same overseas supplier. Just about $2.885M was paid to the supplier, while sea freight charges amounted to US$5,200. Another amount linked to this expenditure was US$6,253.
Sharma said that at the time of reporting “there was no evidence that one set Seiko Track & Field Electronic System and a Starting Gun RG valued at US$2,985 and US$159, respectively, were received.”
He said that the head of budget agency explained that the matter is presently engaging the attention of the Police, “in addition to which further internal investigations are ongoing.”
Sharma recommended that the “necessary action” be taken to bring closure to this matter.
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