Finally someone woke up and smelled the stink of corruption. Hats off to Desmond Trotman and his lawyers. I vote the "citizen of Guyana" award to Desmond!
Well known WPA Activist Desmond Trotman has sued the government for not paying the Lotto Funds into the Consolidated Fund- we all know and as stated in the media these monies were being spent without the necessary Parliamentary Approval. Well parliament be damned, spent without even any care for accountability!
When King Jagdeo on his Cabinet Outreaches would give away a $50 million here and a $20 million there. These exclude the millions prepaid for pipes, pharmaceuticals, rooms at hotels, Limo at Miami, etc.
Even the PNC (which has denounced this act many many times) could not muster up the courage and will to take this matter to court-we wonder about the many lawyers in that party - maybe they are all beneficiaries of the lotto-unaccounted-free-flowing-money.
The Audit Office of Guyana has reported this illegal act many times in multiple reports. In its just recent report of the 2008 accounts, the Auditor General (which is co-headed by the wife of the Finance Minister) said:
“The Contingencies Fund continued to be abused with amounts totaling $670.343 million drawn from the Fund being utilized to meet expenditure that DID NOT meet the ELIGIBILITY criteria as defined in the ACT”
Page 12 of the AG’s 2008 report also states that Expenditure in respect to services which by law are directly chargeable to the Consolidated Fund DO NOT form part of the voted provisions approved by the National Assembly.
These expenditures include:
1. Repayment and servicing of Public Debt
2. Emoluments of holders of Constitutional Offices
3. Pensions and gratuities of Public Officers
The Financial Management Act spells out how and why exactly monies should be extracted from the Consolidated Fund.
Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh in this case must show that “urgent, unavoidable and unforeseen NEED for the expenditure has arisen”, for which NO money can be reallocated as provided for under the FMA- or for which no money has been allocated for, or for which the sum allocated is not sufficient.
When the Minister does the above, this is to be tabled in the National Assembly. According to the 2008 AG Report more than 80 advances totaling more than $4 billion were drawn from the fund.
Of course, by the end of 2008, the Ministry of Finance could not account for more than 17 of those advances totaling more than $1 billion.
The Auditor General Deodat Sharma in his report said that his previous reports “highlighted the continual abuse of this fund”. The report listed several instances where monies were taken from the Fund showing wanton abuse. These included:
1.More than $200 million to the Public Works Ministry for support to the Transport and Harbour Department
2. More than $180,000 million to the Guyana Defense Force
3. More than $77 million to the Finance Ministry for Consultancy
4. More than $72 million to the Home Affairs Ministry for Carifesta expenses
These are only a few sums that were captured by the AG Office for 2008. One can only wonder what took place in 2009!
We congratulate Desmond Trotman for the long awaited move as we await the outcome of this court matter.
We take this opportunity to caution Desmond, Ram and Fitzpatrick - look our for nasty 'letter' on your wife (or wives), girlfriends, cars, any duty free if you ever had, any tax free if you ever had, any fetish if you ever had....and of course even if you didn't have, they will now get dirty.