Gov't allocates $38m for Petrojam forensic audit

Thursday, October 10, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government has allocated $38 million to fund a forensic audit of oil losses at State refinery Petrojam.

This was disclosed by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, as he opened the debate on the First 2019/20 Supplementary Estimates in the House of Representatives on Monday.

“[This is] a demonstration that the Government is serious. We believe that some of the problems that are of [the] current era are problems that are long-standing in nature, and the Government is using resources to ensure that we can get to the bottom of these problems,” Clarke said.

Prime Minster Andrew Holness ordered the audit in December to explain oil losses. The Auditor General is to oversee recruitment of the forensic auditor for the undertaking.

The revised expenditures also include $1.458 billion to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, of which $1 billion is earmarked for the maintenance of secondary roads, and $458 million to clear and repair roads that were blocked or badly damaged by recent flood rains.

Tax Administration Jamaica also received $1.5 billion towards settling outstanding compensation to employees, consequent on the change in the entity's status, and to make payments on arrears in bank charges.

Additionally, $400 million has been allocated for social spending.

This will see $200 million each being spent on the school-feeding programme and to provide social support for elderly persons who are not part of the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).

The First Supplementary Estimates for the 2019/20 fiscal year was approved in the Lower House and will see the Government now spending $853.39 billion.

This represents a $50.15-billion increase over the $803.24-billion Budget approved in March this year.


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