Saturday, August 29, 2009

Agri Ministry asks Auditor General for more scrutiny of projects

Agri Ministry asks Auditor General for more scrutiny of projects

Posted By Stabroek staff On August 29, 2009 @ 5:19 am In Local News | 5 Comments

The Ministry of Agriculture has requested the assistance of the Office of the Auditor General to carry out additional comprehensive audits of its ongoing projects.

According to an undated letter released by the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday and addressed to the Auditor General Deodat Sharma, Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud stated that the Agriculture Ministry is implementing a series of capital works, all designed to promulgate several new export-led commodity chains.

Persaud stated that it is imperative that full value is obtained from all projects carried out by the Ministry, if the department is to be successful in its thrust in agricultural development and the raising of the quality of life in Guyana.

The move by the ministry comes amid a series of reports in the Kaieteur News questioning whether contractors have been overpaid and whether value for money is being obtained from projects.

Persaud stated that the Agriculture Ministry is seeking the support of the Auditor General in order to obtain the full value of investments made and to ensure that there is continued public confidence and support for the investments made in the sector.

According to the letter, Persaud noted that several weeks ago the Agriculture Ministry had established an internal mechanism to receive feedback from the public on the state of implementation of projects, noting that other projects which were implemented were published in the media while copies of same were shared with the respective shareholders for additional monitoring.

Persaud also stated that two persons, Frederick Flatts, Senior Engineer attached to the Agriculture Sector Development Unit of the Agriculture Ministry and Vishal Budhoo, Field Auditor attached to the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), have been identified as the main liaison officers to provide the requisite information regarding projects being implemented by the Agriculture Ministry.
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