'Major concerns' prompt KSAMC CEO to request independent audit

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'Major concerns' prompt KSAMC CEO to request independent audit

Friday, June 05, 2020

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CHIEF executive officer of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) Robert Hill has written to Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis, requesting her department's assistance after an internal audit uncovered irregularities at the entity.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Jamaica Observer, Hill noted that after reviewing the internal audit report for places of amusement licences covering the period January 2017 to December 2019, he was concerned about the findings.

He has asked for an independent audit of the corporation.

“This report was prepared by the acting internal auditor and we have noted some major concerns that caused us to pause, as same may have negative implications in relation to the KSAMC's procurement practices,” Hill's letter read.

He said that the matter has been brought to the attention of the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

“We stand ready to facilitate your guidance and expertise in relation to addressing the concerns that have been raised,” said Hill.

A source close to the activities at KSAMC has reliably informed the Observer that at least two senior officers have been sent on leave since the review of the audit.

According to the source, who has requested anonymity because he is not authorised to speak on the matter, the irregularities concern the purchase of amusement licence certificates.

The source told the Observer that close to 100,000 certificates were purchased over a two-year period, amounting to $6.5 million, although the corporation only issues approximately 4,000 certificates per year.

“It's procurement corruption, basically. So they've been ordering goods [and] signing that they received them, but they haven't received them. They ordered an extravagant amount of certificates and supplies basically that the municipal doesn't need. So let's say we use 3,000 certificates for the year, they ordered over a two-year period, let's say 90,000...” the source said.

“The audit will more than likely be widened, but this is just one area that has been identified so far... So it will move to like hairdresser and barber licences, because they want to see how far this thing goes,” the source added.

The Observer has learnt that the company involved has repaid $500,000 to the corporation.


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