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McClean: Reports free of scandal

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

McClean: Reports free of scandal

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The recent Auditor General reports are free of scandal, but the same cannot be said of findings between 2005 and 2007.
Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Maxine McClean, made that assertion while delivering the wrap-up presentation in the Upper House Wednesday night.
“As I read the Auditor General’s reports, I was glad there was an absence of scandal. I want to say that if you want to see scandal, one should check out the Auditor General’s reports for 2007, for example,” she said.
McClean said the reports for the year 2007 highlighted concerns in the Ministry of Energy and the Environment in relation to contracts.
“Payments totalling $2.616 million were made to a construction company during the financial year 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 in respect of the Welches Beach improvement project, which was completed during the financial year 2006/2007. But a formal contract in compliance with rules 126 and 127 of the financial rules 1971 was not made available for audit examination.
“Payments totalling $1.432 million were made during 2006/2007 to this firm and contract extension was cited as the authority for payment. However, no contract existed at the Coastal Zone Management Unit in respect of these additional payments,” she said.
McClean also made reference to the Auditor General’s report of 2010 dealing with Hotel &?Resorts Limited.
She said that the Government of the day by way of an agreement dated July 22, 2002, loaned Hotel &?Resorts Limited more than $145 million. McClean mentioned that under the terms of the agreement that company was to make semi-annual repayments at June 30 and December 30 over 20 years at a rate of 7.25 per cent per annum.
Repayment was originally due to commence on June 30, 2005, but this was revised till the following year.
She said the loan was not being serviced and the Cabinet had agreed to debt relief for Hotel &?Resorts Limited with the relief by way of a write-off of $160 million.
McClean said there was much more she could speak about, including the 2006 report of the Auditor General in relation to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, but it was important that good governance be observed at all times. (MK)

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