Over $70M unaccounted for in City Hall’s restoration funds – CoI hears

City Hall

The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the management of City Hall, today, heard that over $70M is unaccounted for in the $500M city restoration funds.

This is according to the finance records from the Audit Office of Guyana which was presented by the Audit Manager, Dhanraj Persaud at the Critchlow Labour College on Woolford Avenue.

As he delved into the matter, Persaud showed that Central Government through the Communities Ministry had supplied funds for city restoration projects at a sum of $300M in 2015 and in 2016, another $200M was injected into the initiative, which totaled to $500M.

However, when checks were made into the evidences presented for the expenditure of these projects, $70.489M was unaccounted for.

Dhanraj sought to point out that there were no financial records for the council for 2006 to 2011 and some were provided for 2013 to 2015.

As it relates to the presentation of the records, the report hasn’t been completed as yet because the council failed to produce the documents in the correct format.

When engaged via a letter, the Town Clerk did not respond within the 30-day period and had later asked for a one month extension to fix the documents.

To date, there has been no response. Chapter 28:01 of the Municipal and District Councils Act states that failure to supply these records for auditing purposes is an offence.

So far, it was heard that the Town Clerk also rented a section of the Route 44 bus park and leased lands to a shipping company which was not owned by the council but rather by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).

The inquiry is expected to conclude on October 31, where the necessary recommendations will be submitted after all evidence is presented before the Commission.



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