By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharma has revealed that Guyana had spent close to $1B to host Carifesta X and not the sum of $500M as was previously reported.
Sharma made the declaration while speaking to reporters on Tuesday where he disclosed that the financial records are not intact.
The Minister pointed out that the absence of records is a direct contravention to the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act which stipulates that companies keep records for seven years.
Sharma revealed that investigation thus far has revealed that close to 1B was spent to host the event, however that is not all of the monies that was used.
He said those findings are inconclusive since there was more spending but no records to show where the money went.
“Basically, with CARIFESTA and other activities that was over a period of time, like six years. There was a difficulty in obtaining records – the records were damaged and so forth,” said Sharma.
The CEO of Carifesta X was People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament Nigel Dharamlall.
When contacted, Dharamlall told iNews that when Carifesta X was completed, he did a final report and all of the records were sent to the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport.
“The financial management of Carifesta X was conducted directly thru the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport,” he stated.
Asked about the monies spent on Carifesta, the MP stated that “I had no control over spending. It was done by Permanent Secretary Keith Booker…. Even procurement was done through the ministry.”
Dharamlall pointed out too that when the forensic auditor spoke to him, he was only asked about the procurement of the stage.
“He didn’t mention anything about records.”