By Kiana Wilburg
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, wants the Government of Guyana to release all the forensic audit reports it commissioned when it assumed office in 2015. The former President made this remark during a Press Conference that was held yesterday at his Church Street office.
There, the politician was asked to give his take on the fact that the government has selectively withheld from the public, forensic audits on key agencies such as the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
Jagdeo said, “They should release all the forensic audit reports. Look at the case they built against some of our Members of Parliament using ostensibly, a forensic audit report into the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and then they are refusing to give it to the defence.”
The Opposition Leader continued, “The defence had to go to court to order a copy and that is fair…but then they redacted most of the report. What is so secret about these audits? What do you have to redact?
“If you find corruption, then you find it. It is as simple as that…Make all the forensic audit reports public. We have been saying this for a while. And then people will see how shoddy some of these works are.”
It was in May 2015 that the Granger-led Administration began expending millions of taxpayers’ dollars on 45 of its 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 supposed to be sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Some of the firms contracted to conduct the forensic audits included Nigel Hinds Financial Service, Ram and McRae 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 audited 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 2015 while others started in later weeks of that year. While the report on NICIL for some time now, criminal proceedings are still to take shape. Those on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) have been completed for a longer period.
The Junior Finance Minister, Jaipaul Sharma, had said that the revelations of some of the forensic audits thus far, confirmed the fears the APNU+AFC had regarding the lack of accountability under the previous administration as well as the stench of corruption in some agencies.
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