first_img– as AG sends off draft audit report to Public Infrastructure PSAs is customary with any audit, the Audit Office of Guyana has dispatched an interim report from its audit into the controversial D’Urban Park Project to the Public Infrastructure Ministry, with a response to the report’s various findings expected by month end.Public Infrastructure Ministry PS Kenneth JordanThis is according to Auditor General Deodat Sharma during a recent interview with Guyana Times. In fact, Sharma noted that the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Kenneth Jordan requested more time beyond December 2018.“I did send off my initial report to the PS (Permanent Secretary) of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure. And he wrote to me saying that before the end of this month, I should have a response from him.“I sent my interim (audit) report to him and he was supposed to respond in December (2018), but he asked for a month extension,” the Auditor General added. “So, I’m waiting on his response.”It was Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Irfaan Ali, who had requested further probing be done by the Auditor General into specific projects. Among those projects was the D’Urban Park Project, for which the AG in his 2015 report listed some $36.5 million in Lotto funds being used for rehabilitative works.Ali had stated that these requests were in relation to follow-ups from the findings that had been included in the AG’s 2015 Report. In his 2015 report, the Auditor General had said that following checks on the accounts, it was found that while Government transferred $1 billion of the Lotto money to the Consolidated Fund in 2015, it held onto just over half a billion dollars to remain under the control of the Ministry of the Presidency and it spent $305 million on various activities.But the audit into the D’Urban Park Project has always been hindered by a lack of access to pertinent information, with the Audit Office being forced to write to the Public Infrastructure Ministry requesting documents.Controversy surrounding the D’Urban Park Project exploded when it was revealed to the public that now Public Service Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine sat as a Director of a secret company, which was established to collect funds from private companies to develop the Jubilee Park.This information was initially omitted by Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson when he was being drilled by Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) in the National Assembly in 2016.Additionally, Opposition parliamentarian Juan Edghill has been behind efforts to have the Public Procurement Commission investigate the D’Urban Park Project. In a letter to the Commission’s Chairperson, Carol Corbin, Edghill had identified aspects of the Project the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was most concerned about.The Opposition had noted that despite promises to the contrary, no account of donations received between September 2015 and January 2016 was made public. It, therefore, queried the procurement process used for works on the project.The scope a private company has to engage contractors and receive funding for a public project also came into question. The Party queried the budgeted and actual cost throughout the project, as well as the final cost. In addition, the Party had demanded information on what payments were made to individuals and contractors up to June.last_img read more