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Corruption– Ramson’s pronouncement on Lotto Funds to be challenged in CourtChairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Volda Lawrence, yesterday presented to the House the report of the committee as it relates to the 2006 Auditor General Report, but not before lambasting several government officials,Cheap Jerseys From China, including the Finance Minister.According to Lawrence, collusion does exist between officials within various budget agencies such as Ministries, and contractors, to rob the nation of taxpayers’ money.She was speaking to the fact that year after year there are the overpayments to contractors to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and in some cases where the moneys cannot be recovered, the contractors are still being given even more contractsOverpayment to contractors, according to Lawrence, continues to be a serious problem. She stressed that it is highlighted in all of the reports and the practice continues unabatedShe said that the PAC “concludes that there is collusion between staff and contractors to defraud the Guyanese people of large sums of money.”She said that while there has been some improvement over the years there still remain delinquent Ministries, and the Ministry of Public Works tops the list which includes the Ministry of Education among others.She recommended that sanctions be put in place for officials that sign-off certificates of completion for projects where there is found to be overpayments and/or shoddy works.Lawrence also flayed the government for the non-submission of names for the process of the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission.Lawrence reminded the House that six years ago the Public Procurement Act was enacted to appease the donor community but the Procurement Commission is yet to be established and opined that the government seems not to want to establish the body.She said that the Alliance For Change and the People’s National Congress Reform have submitted names, and chided fellow committee member, Bibi Shaddick, who spoke on behalf of the Government and said that there were ongoing consultations with the opposition as it relates to the names the government will submit.According to Lawrence,cheap jerseys elite, there were no such consultations with the Opposition parties or the Leader of the Opposition, Robert Corbin, who was present in the House at the time and from his seat, denied the statements made by Shaddick.Lawrence said that the Commission is to be put in place to monitor procurement to ensure the various budget agencies follow the law.She said that there is repeated non-compliance of several ministries who continue to breach tender board procedures.In listing some of the delinquent bodies she listed the Ministry of Public Works and Communication, Education, Health, and Legal Affairs. She also mentioned the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Defence Force as well as Regions Three, Seven and 10.Shaddick, who noted that this was the first time she was in the Public Accounts Committee,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, sought to point out that all of the matters raised in the report was for issues dating as far back as a decade ago.This, Lawrence said, was beside the point,Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, given that they remained unresolved and as such, accounts could not be properly settled.Shaddick said that the committee met over a two-year period reviewing the Auditor General’s 2006 Report and there was even a six month hiatus when they did not meet.AFC Member of Parliament David Patterson in his presentation said that while the committee failed to meet for the six-month period, what Shaddick didn’t tell the House was that the Chairperson of the Committee was ill during that period.On the issue of the Public Procurement Commission, Shaddick blamed the opposition for stalling the process by not finding favour with the names that her party had submitted.She said that the commission was merely a body to appeal to if persons had a problem with contracts awarded.Shaddick said that with the establishment of the Commission it will not replace the tender board but will be a body to adjudicate appeals.She also ridiculed the report saying that it was never adopted by the Committee and as such, mistakes such as grammatical errors which could have been corrected managed to slip through.Lawrence lashed out at Shaddick saying that the draft was sent to the committee for consideration and several amendments were made by the committee before the final document was sent to the House.Shadick stated that there has been substantial improvement in the way the accounting officers deal with the monies and the report, “don’t give them justice…many agencies have improved…We have been seeing improvement in the way the accounting officers deal with the moneys.”On the issue of the Lotto Fund which the Auditor General continuously stresses must be paid over to the Consolidated Fund, Shaddick said that the Attorney General who is the Government’s legal advisor has made a pronouncement and they are satisfied that they are not breaching the law.Patterson in his presentation echoed the sentiments of Lawrence, and on the issue of the Lotto Funds,cheap nfl jerseys online, said that AG Charles Ramson’s pronouncement would soon be challenged in the courts.
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