In a commentary on the 14th September 2001 I described
for the public the importance of the annual Auditor General's report, the first
one I did was in respect of the year 1999, in prior discussions with AG Goolsarran
he was as disappointed as I was that the media in Guyana paid little attention to the annual audits. That has now changed
and the media now seem to understand that the annual audit gives us a record as
to how our managers have been running our affairs.
The executive in this country's run our
affairs in such secrecy that their actions largely go unnoticed, we know that
something is not right but we cannot quantify or verify it, since the
parliament is a joke a place where there is no accountability, so it is only after
the Auditor General's report is published almost two years after any action by
a government functionary is made, do we see the consequences, in real terms, of
After criticising the government's
performance, or lack of performance for three years publicly with no tangible
result, we have to conclude that even the media is wasting its time trying to
criticise this government and embarrass them into doing their jobs with
transparency, accountability and competence.
The usual excuse is that no matter how
bad these audits show that the PPP is running the country, it is better than
the PNC did, since they did not have any audits. Well I don't know which fool
is expected to accept this explanation but I object to it in the most ferocious
Furthermore any political opposition who
can go through the process of constitution reform and not insist on an equality
of treatment provision being incorporated in the new constitution cannot rely
on my support or the support their own constituents for that matter. If any
afro Guyanese is given unequal treatment under the law, he has no recourse, so
let me put this as plainly as I can, for the benefit of the PPP who have
accused me of being a tele-spokesperson for the PNC.
the PNC rigged elections and the PNC did
not keep proper records of their performance in government, these are facts,
what is also a fact is that the PNC did not deceive the public about what was
going on, there was no big song and dance and no long winded speeches about the
birth of a new democracy in 1992, there were no speeches about transparency,
there were no speeches about lean and clean governance. There were no promises
of inclusively but the PNC were far more likely to award contracts in a non racial
manner than we see happening now, in fact if the PNC is to be blamed for
anything, it is that in 28 years they did not enrich and empower their own
people enough; Indo Guyanese were allowed to share in the national pie as much
as any Afro Guyanese. Ask any contractor operating at the time if there was one
Afro Guyanese firm that got all the contracts, controlled all the chicken, I
was here and I saw it, anyone who did not, is blind.
So the PNC were Riggers, yes! bad
bookkeepers, yes! But they were not hypocrites.
I therefore reject this nonsense that
the PPP is better than the PNC because they publish the Auditor General's
report whilst the PNC did not.
Having decided to publish it, probably
through pressure from the Carter Centre to tell us how transparent their
government is; how is it possible that after 11 years in office the
consolidated fund has not been balanced? This is the main bank account of the
nation into which all monies are placed and from which all monies are withdrawn
to do the nation's work. How is it possible that on almost every page of the
AG's report we see signs of un-reconciled bank accounts, overdrawn defunct accounts,
breaches of the law in not returning unspent balances to the consolidated fund
at the end of the year, contract splitting to avoid the tendering process, re-allocating
monies after Parliament has approved the national budget into areas which were
not authorised, whilst not spending it in areas where it was authorised to be
spent, these are all criminal acts which would attract jail time anywhere else,
but not once has anyone been sanctioned for it; ladies and gentlemen which of
you would employ a manager and when you discover that he has been breaking all
of your company's rules of bookkeeping, to the extent that irregularities can
escape undetected, would not call the police and fire him.
There are only a few aspects of the 2002
Auditor General's report that I will point out for you here tonight, since 1998
the public debt has been static at 1.699 billion US dollars; despite every
conceivable form of debt relief, HIPC aid and other grant aid the public debt
in 2002 was 1.651 Billion US dollars, all of the debt relief we have gotten has
not reduced the national debt at all, and what do we have to show for it? Do
any of you see some improvement in your standard of life? The PPP are racking
up more debts than the PNC ever did and I don't see where it is doing us any
good. There is also no evidence that the HIPC money is getting to the really
poor people in this country this money was for them specifically.
I have told you repeatedly that this
government is anti business, and that in the controversial World Bank report for
2002 it is plainly stated that the PPP government is not enabling private
enterprise in this country and they have failed to provide a climate in which
private enterprise can grow and flourish, and here is additional evidence from
the AG's report; of the 3960 companies which are registered in this country 315
were deemed to be defunct in 2002, additionally one thousand eight hundred and
seventeen companies were deemed to be inactive in 2002 as compared to 262
companies in 2001 and only around 400 filed returns.
When it comes to killing private
entrepreneurs the PPP qualify as serial killers.
Finally ladies and gentlemen; my fellow
broadcasters may be interested to know that 30 million of the tax payers' money
in this country of all races, was sub-vented to GTV during 2002, whilst the Brazilian
embassy an embassy in a country which I perceive to be most important part of Guyana's
future, had an accounting unit staffed by two persons, the Accountant was
involved in (a) preparation of payment vouchers (b) writing up sub-accounts
cash book and votes ledger (c) collecting revenue (d) effecting payments and (e)
reconciling bank accounts.
The other super person, the Accounts
clerk, was required to perform duties as translator/bilingual secretary,
receptionist and typist clerk.