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JAMAICA | RADA Probe - PNP says the facts will speak for themselves

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, JC Hutchinson (third left), in discussion with a farmer of Bakers Common during his tour of farm roads in Manchester in Januar. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, JC Hutchinson (third left), in discussion with a farmer of Bakers Common during his tour of farm roads in Manchester in Januar.
Kingston, Jamaica, November 22, 2019: Against the background of credibility challenges and vehement denials by the Chairman of the RADA board, the People’s National Party (PNP) says it is aware of the concerns expressed by citizens regarding the revelations concerning the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) Farm Roads Rehabilitation Programme, ans wants the auditor general's probe to be expedited.

In a press release yesterday,  the PNP said "it noted  the comments of the Chairman of RADA who is the officially designated spokesman and various comments aimed at confusing the issues. The party outlined what it says are the facts which led to the dispatch of a letter to the Auditor General, Mrs. Pamela Monroe Ellis, requesting a full financial audit of the RADA’s Programme:

1. The Auditor General last month completed and submitted to Parliament a Performance Audit for the years 2015-2018

2. The report revealed widespread mismanagement at RADA

3. The report revealed procurement breaches and cost variations which could result in waste and/or theft of government resources

4. Additional Information has since come to the PNP’s attention that a major programme of work, valued at $1.6 billion, which is also in excess of the Authority’s budget, was prepared in 2017 for the parish of St. Thomas, which contained bushing rates higher than the standard government rates;
road5. While we are duty bound to raise concerns about the exorbitant value of the programme, we never said that we can confirm that the $1.6 billion as specified in the RADA document, was actually implemented and paid. In fact, it is the reason why we have asked the Auditor General to conduct a full financial audit on RADA to complement the previous audit, which revealed the breaches by the Board and Management.

6. The PNP has examined payment vouchers for the Buckingham to Font Hill road and Leith Hall to Land Settlement road which were part of the programme set out in the RADA document.

7. There is no evidence of any work done on either of those two roads at the time specified.

8. The PNP has noted comments by the Chairman of the RADA Board. We recall similar defences being made in the past in relation to Petrojam, NESoL and CMU before the full scope of those scandals were revealed.

The Party said the issues will only be settled on the basis of the facts resulting from a full financial audit by the Auditor General and other appropriate government agencies, not by the media, nor by panelists nor the RADA Chairman, who has now taken on to himself the role of sole spokesman, itself a breach of government procedures and policy.

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Last modified onFriday, 22 November 2019 06:34
  • Countries: Jamaica

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