In a statement this afternoon, the Party’s spokesman on Information and General Secretary, Mr. Julian Robinson said the Opposition Leader’s written request is further to a commitment given yesterday to ask the Auditor General to examine expenditure on a bushing programme in the parish of St. Thomas, which was undertaken at rates significantly above the standard rate paid by the National Works Agency (NWA).
Dr. Phillips pointed the Auditor General’s attention to a number of documents, including two payment vouchers for the Buckingham and Leith Hall to Land Settlement roads, as part of the Party’s own investigation into this scandal. This does not square with the claims by the Chairman of Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) yesterday.
Other information which was gathered from the deposition of political representatives and other persons familiar with the areas is at variance with the roads for which payments have been made, but were not repaired, bushed or otherwise maintained.
Mr. Robinson said the party had also taken note of a statement issued by the Chairman of RADA, which attempted to obfuscate the issue and conflate expenditures over the past three years with the bushing programme in St. Thomas, in order to deny and deflect from the fundamental issue of the apparent breach of government’s financial rules. “This pattern of response to deflect and misrepresent is no different from previous scandals including Petrojam, NESoL and the CMU,” he said.
In his letter Dr Phillips said the Opposition believes the request for the financial audit is justified and necessary to ensure that public funds are properly spent and accounted for in keeping with the requirements of the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act and the Financial Administration and Accountability Act.
Mr Robinson said the Opposition Leader will also be writing to the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) to undertake criminal investigations.
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