Jan 20, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The $900,000 bracelet purchase made by General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, Rawlston Adams, will soon see him being removed from the post says Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill.
Minister Edghill also relayed to Kaieteur News that Adams was also repaying the sum spent. “When I last spoke to him, he told me that he paid off 50% of the sum and that he will also be returning the bracelet,” he added.
Adams’ purchase was only revealed during an audit of the state-owned asphalt plant at Garden of Eden by a special team back in December. He had honoured himself in a rather unique fashion for International Men’s Day 2019, with a bracelet worth a whopping $897,000, using funds from the company.
Head of the team, Chateram Ramdihal, had stated, “we found that the Harbour Bridge went about buying gifts for their staff during International Men’s Day November of 2019. It was the Board’s request that any gifts purchased must be approved by the Board.”
However, those purchases were not given a stamp of approval by the Board, Ramdihal had said, while adding that, “we came across an alarming gift to the value of $897,000, a bracelet that was purchased for the General Manager and approved by the General Manager.”
He had explained that in normal circumstances, approval for such a large purchase comes directly from the Board. If no Board is present, the matter is escalated to the Public Infrastructure Minister, who was David Patterson at the time. But Adams apparently bypassed all these levels and presented himself with the high-priced gift.
And while he sported the bracelet, other employees at the DHB were said to have received gifts with a maximum value of $10,000.
Patterson himself was also said to have received high priced gifts from the Plant. While he vehemently denied the purchase, documents revealed that on May 2, 2017, a “Requisition to Purchase” was placed with King’s Jewellery World to acquire “one hand band (movable)” at the cost of $424,000 and “one tie pin” at $76,000 to be given to the then Minister in commemoration of his birthday. Both purchases totaled $500,000 but it is unclear whether he ever received same.
In addition to that, recently surfaced documentation from DHB showed that another gift meant for Patterson was purchased from King’s Jewellery World valued at $370,400. That purchase, according to the documents was made on July 19, 2019.
In light of these findings, Minister Edghill revealed that investigations are being conducted into other agencies including the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) among others.
According to Minister Edghill, that move was taken after it was discovered that the Harbour Bridge might not have been the only agency to grant expensive gifts to the former Minister.
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