PNP wants Auditor General audit of RADA Farm Roads Rehabilitation Programme

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PNP wants Auditor General audit of RADA Farm Roads Rehabilitation Programme

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — President of the People's National Party (PNP) Dr Peter Phillips has, today, written the Auditor General of Jamaica, Pamela Monroe Ellis, requesting a full financial investigation of the Farm Roads Rehabilitation Programme undertaken by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) during the financial years 2017/18 and 2018/19.

In a statement this afternoon, PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson said that Phillips' written request is further to a commitment given yesterday to ask for an examination of expenditure on a bushing programme in the parish of St Thomas, which was undertaken at rates significantly above the standard rate paid by the National Works Agency.

Robinson said Phillips pointed the Auditor General's attention to a number of documents, including two payment vouchers for the Buckingham and Leith Hall to Land Settlement roads, as part of the PNP's investigation. This, the Opposition said, does not square with the claims by the RADA chairman yesterday.

Robinson added that other information, which was gathered from the deposition of political representatives and other people familiar with the areas, is at variance with the roads for which payments have been made, but were not repaired, bushed or otherwise maintained.

Robinson said the party had also taken note of a statement issued by the RADA chairman, which attempted to obfuscate the issue and conflate expenditures over the past three years with the bushing programme in St Thomas, “in order to deny and deflect from the fundamental issue of the apparent breach of government's financial rules.”

“This pattern of response to deflect and misrepresent is no different from previous scandals including Petrojam, NESoL and the CMU,” Robinson said.

In his letter Phillips said the Opposition believes the request for the financial audit is justified and necessary to ensure that public funds are properly spent and accounted for in keeping with the requirements of the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act and the Financial Administration and Accountability Act.

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