Auditor General hints at special probe into Larry London’s birth certificates contract

Businessman Larry London
Businessman Larry London

The Office of the Auditor General of Guyana may very soon be launching a special audit into the controversial award of a multimillion contract given to APNU/AFC supporter, Larry London to print official birth certifications for the Ministry of Citizenship.

This was indicated by Auditor General Deodat Sharma, when contacted by INews. He explained that the contract to print the birth certificates will form part of the general audit cycle for the year 2019 – the findings of which will be included in the 2019 Auditor Genera’s Report.

Nevertheless, he noted that the Office of the Auditor General is likely to also do a special audit on the contract.

When it comes to the release of the 2019 report, Sharma explained that COVID-19 has created an unprecedented environment.

It is therefore likely that the report will be released later than its usual September 30 release date.

Larry London’s contract was revealed during Monday’s examination of the budget estimates for what was previously the Ministry of Citizenship.

Minister of Governance Gail Teixeira revealed that the $29.1 Million allocation relates to payments for London’s Florida based company, Universal Procurement Services.

The value of the contract, which saw the company printing thousands of birth certificates, is approximately US$150,000.

Teixeira, during an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), expressed that there are going to be a number of investigations into the award of contracts under the previous government.

Teixeira explained that she found the move by the then Coalition Government to approach London to print the birth certificates “strange” considering the fact that the official documents used to be printed right here in Guyana with the necessary security features etc.

“I don’t know what are the special security features of these ones that Mr London did and I don’t understand what was the change with it,” she posited.

Teixeira also claimed that the contract was single-sourced as there was no tendering process involved.

“So this stinks,” she asserted, adding; “I have no apologies to make to Mr Harmon or anybody else that what we have found requires investigation.”