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Investigators are continuing its probe of a billion-dollar fertilizer programme that was handled under the previous administration by the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC).Head of SOCUSydney JamesA forensic audit report handed in to the Coalition Government had recommended actions against former head of GMC, Nizam Hassan, for at least two sets of transactions- the fertilizer programme and the construction of the entity’s head office in Robb Street.The report had been sent to Cabinet which approved the investigations into the two sets of transactions.The matters were handed to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) which recently concluded investigations into the building construction and recommended charges against Hassan, an engineer at the Ministry of Agriculture and the contractor. The file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice.With regards to the fertilizer investigations, head of SOCU, Sydney James, confirmed Tuesday that the investigations are still ongoing.While the forensic auditor, Saykar Boodhoo,Wholesale Soccer Jerseys, had been tasked with reviewing records of GMC, an arm of the Ministry of Agriculture, for the period of January 1, 2012 to May 31, 2015, he was given approval to extend the investigations of the GMC’s Fertilizer Account to September 1,Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys, 2008.He said that this was necessary due to the lack of information made available by GMC’s senior management.The auditor in his report to Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, on April 11, 2016, complained that Hassan was evasive to questions and not wholly truthful to him in providing answers to his questions and inquiries.Hassan was last year appointed by the new administration as the General Manager of the all-important Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB),White NFL Jerseys Cheap, another agency under the Ministry of Agriculture.The auditor flagged and criticised several accounting shortcoming as well as poor work by the accounting firm hired to conduct GMC audits for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.“My conclusion is that the accounting practice at GMC shows that the General Manager and the Accountant did not provide any meaningful fiduciary responsibility when any payment originated from the Minister of Agriculture or the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture. In other words, GMC’s General Manager and the Accountant acted more like rubber stamps when payments dealt with transactions originating from the Ministry of Agriculture.“More troubling was the lack of fiduciary responsibilities condoned by GMC’s Board of Directors during the period January 1, 2012 through May 31, 2015.”With regards to the fertilizer programme, in 2008, the forensic audit report said that the then Government, under Bharrat Jagdeo, acknowledged that there was a shortage of fertilizer available to farmers.Approval was granted from the Office of the President for the Ministry of Agriculture to handle the transaction – the idea was for GMC to purchase 12,500 tons of Urea costing US$7,812,500 of which 3,500 tons was for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco) and 9,000 tonnes to be sold to agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture.Funding for the 9,000 tons Urea was provided as follows: Contingencies Fund Advance $600M and GNCB Advance $553M.GMC was to sell the Urea at $7,000 per bag (50Kg) to stakeholders or resellers and the sales proceeds used to repay the above amounts in its entirety before December 31,China Jerseys Cheap, 2008. A contract was awarded through a tender to a company named “Nova Scotia Manufacturing”. However the contract was cancelled by Cabinet and a new tender was supposed to be done. This never happened.The forensic audit report said that limited and filtered information was provided to the auditor.“The GMC’s General Manager, Nizam Hassan refused to make available to the auditor full access to original documentation of the financial transactions of the Fertilizer Programme.“As such there was a scope limitation thus preventing the auditor to properly audit the Fertilizer Programme transactions.”The auditor believed that the entire fertilizer programme was conceptualized to circumvent financial accountability laws and to provide funding to GuySuCo and others using “sinister” methods.Monies were also questionably made available to the Guyana Rice Producers Association.“The payments to GRPA were approved by the GMC’s Board of Directors via a special Board Resolution. However the resolution was signed by mainly the Government employees of the Board,” the report said.Among some of the transactions by GMC was an interest-free loan to GuySuCo for $450M which had a special clause in the loan agreement stating that only $86,Cheap Jerseys Online,994,711 was to be repaid to GMC.“Mr. Hassan has also refused to answer questions as to the concept of loaning $450 million but only being repaid $87 million. To date no repayment was made to GMC. The $86,Cheap Jerseys,994,711 balance is on GMC’s books as a receivable.”The auditor stated that it appears that the main beneficiaries of the fertilizer programme were GuySuCo and farmers- two groups not covered by GMC’s mandate.The auditor recommended that the Government of Guyana needs to determine what action should be taken against Hassan and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture for their alleged illegal involvement in the management of the fertilizer programme.
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