Tony Vieira's Comments
22 October 2017

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Auditor General
(Aired 15 August 2006)

   An election inevitably produces lies and promises which cannot be kept from some parties, they tell you the most unrealistic things they will do for you if you vote for them, to take the most flagrant example there is a promise by one political party to raise the public servant's salaries by 100 percent, that's not only unrealistic its absolute nonsense, the fact of the matter is that the World Bank and the IDB control how much this government is paying the public servants and unfortunately the PPP has borrowed so much money over the past 10 years that they have given these international financial institutions a lot of say in how our affairs are run, I have tried to be as realistic as possible and to identify what the PNCR-1G platform will do for you if you gave us your vote, now before I get to the point of this comment, let me say this, you must never borrow money to meet routine expenses its irresponsible and completely out of tune with good management practices, a good example is your business premises, if you have to borrow money to paint or repair your building, then you are doing nonsense and you are in big trouble, you borrow to expand, to build something where there was nothing there before, so that you can earn more money for yourself, your employees and their families.

    Any government which is into big construction projects like the PPP have been, are doing it to facilitate corruption, it is an internationally recognised fact, and some of the poorest nations on the planet have been building stadiums etc which will bring no wealth to their people, it is just being done to facilitate corruption and to give the illusion of prosperity, the PPP's 2006 political advertising campaign does not even try to dispute that, and they have not produced one advertisement which seeks to dispute allegations of corruption being levelled against them, their own supporters would laugh at them if they did, because they know of the corruption and the incompetence, but since they are voting for them as members of the same race and not on their achievements the PPP will continue to flourish in this desolation of a country they have created for all of us, desolation for even their own supporters since they have failed them in every single area of national life, they have not brought economic success to them, they have not protected them from the sea, they have not protected them from the rainfall, they have not protected them from the high water levels in the conservancies, they have not protected them from the criminals.

   So now I come to the Auditor General's reports and Mr. Jagdeo's lies.

   The PPP have an advertisement for this political campaign in which Mr. Jagdeo himself is telling the public that since 1992, his government started producing Auditor General's reports and have tabled one every year from 1992 to 2004, he even has video of this 1992 Auditor General's report in the advertisement, so let me get this straight Bharat [now ladies and gentlemen we are on the platform and I am and have been addressing the presidential candidate of the PPP and not the president himself, so there is no disrespect addressing him as Bharat in this context] are you saying that the  PPP came to power in 1992 October, the PPP then hired Anand Goolsaran, set up the Auditor's General's office, got the statutory authority to allow him to audit the state's accounts and got him to produce an audited report for the year 1992 in 1993? C'mon Bharat, are you so dishonest that you will not tell the pubic that it was Hoyte's economic recovery programme which sought to guarantee honest and progressive economic policies, which appointed Anand Goolsaran as Auditor General and gave him the statutory power to audit the accounts of the state without interference? Well if you can't then I have to, it was Desmond Hoyte who hired Goolsaran and gave him the power to audit the state's accounts, the truth is that the process of producing the auditor general's reports started since 1990 but the first actual report did come out until 1992, but it was Hoyte that did it and made it the law not Mr. Jagdeo and that's the honest truth. So I say that Mr. Jagdeo is a liar. I still can't believe that he could do this. I don't care what's at stake I would not lie like this, I never have, and I will not start now!

  We were lucky ladies and gentlemen since Mr. Goolsaran over the years did an excellent job for us, despite many obstacles, he reported honestly and criticised fearlessly whenever he saw any irregularity in the running of our business.

   Furthermore what Mr., Jagdeo is not telling you is that he and his government deliberately made Goolsaran's life a complete misery until in frustration the man finally resigned.

   So let me quote a few comments which the Auditor General has made in his reports over the years, in 1999 he said this "it should be again emphasised that this report should not be relied upon to reflect the results of a comprehensive review of the fiscal operation of the government. While such a review is desirable, and I believe is the intention of the law, because of the DEPLEATING staff situation in the AUDIT office, only a selective approach could have been adopted in the comprehensiveness of such a review" end quote and because of major lapses especially in the consolidated fund [the main bank account of the government] Goolsaran says this quote "I am unable to form an opinion whether they properly present their respective state of affairs as at 31st December 1999" end quote in 1999 he also said that the audit was several months overdue, because of the late submission of almost all ministries and departments, including the statement of assets and liabilities of the Government which was submitted in November 2000 instead of the statutory date of April 2000.

  Up to 2003 he was still having problems, in fact they were getting worse, this pack of criminals the PPP has put to run our affairs refused to be bound by fiscal discipline, that means they refused to be controlled by financial rules and he said this "the inadequacy of staffing at the various ministries, departments and regions, the lack of suitably qualified and trained personnel and the absence of internal audit departments in large ministries continued to militate against an effective system of internal control and have contributed over the years to the deterioration in financial management at both the ministerial and central levels" end quote; so Jagdeo was not only starving Goolsaran himself for funds to keep auditing the affairs of state effectively, he was allowing the ministries to allocate little or no money so that there were no internal audit mechanisms in place which could relay information to the Auditor General's office to tell us what was going on. In the same 2003 report we see this "Proceeds from the Guyana lotteries continued to be retained in a special bank account to meet public expenditure without parliamentary approval. Such proceeds are public revenues, which are required to be paid into the consolidated fund" end quote; do any of you understand the legal significance of this statement? It means that Goolsaran is telling us that Jagdeo himself, who controls this lotto bank account of hundreds of millions of dollars is breaking the law. So now in addition to lying Mr. Jagdeo stands accused of breaking the law since 2003, and to this day that lotto fund is still completely under his control, in contravention of the law itself.    

    On numerous occasions Goolsaran condemned the fact that the ministries were not returning unspent amounts to the consolidated fund at the end of the year; it was he said, conducive to fraud escaping undetected.

    In the 2003 report we see this about the ministry of home affairs quote "there was evidence of contract splitting in excess of 50 million dollars in the purchase of police uniforms, and the police are investigating the matter" the police are investigating their bosses at the ministry of home affairs! These people's eyes really pass us you hear.

   This same 2003 audit report tells us that the wildlife division had too many bosses and no one was certain who were in charge of it, the office of the President or the EPA and that it had a 50 million dollar amount which was received between 1998 to 2002 and was not banked! Let me repeat this, the wildlife division had a 50 million dollar amount which was received by the division between 1998-2002 which was not put in the Bank. 

   So I repeat my initial question, you kidding us about your fiscal integrity, right Bharat?

   For heaven's sake ladies and gentlemen stop and ask yourself the question, when will you take notice? Or as we in Guyana say, when will enough, be enough?