OCG extends fraud probe to other parish councils

Five other Gov't bodies also implicated

Jamaica Observer

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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FOLLOWING on the heels of the Office of the Contractor General’s (OCG) latest findings regarding allegations of fraud and corruption in the award of Government contracts at the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and other public bodies, the OCG has taken a strategic decision to review the National Contracts Commission (NCC) files of all works contractors who have received contracts from all of the island’s parish councils since 2006.
The OCG’s investigation will be aimed, among other things, at identifying if any of the referenced contractors are sham contractors and, if so, whether and to what extent such contractors may have had illicit links with parish councillors or other public officers or officials.
Yesterday the OCG revealed that three KSAC councillors and a sham contractor were implicated in irregularities at the KSAC. Since then, five other public bodies have also been named by the OCG as using the same sham contractor.
“The OCG’s efforts, in the foregoing regard, will be aided substantially by the audits of the parish councils which are currently being undertaken by the OCG, as well as by the OCG’s ongoing 100 per cent due diligence scrutiny of the particulars of the annual re-registration applications which are submitted to the NCC by works contractors,” the OCG said in a statement.  
The OCG said it has also deepened its probe into the contractor who has implicated the three KSAC councillors in the fraudulent award of Government contracts.
“After conducting a further cross-referencing of the 114 contracts which were awarded to the contractor, the OCG has found that the contractor was also registered with the NCC as a goods and services contractor and, in point of fact, was awarded contracts not only by the KSAC, but by five other public bodies,” the OCG said.
The 114 contracts which were awarded to the contractor between November 2006 and November 2010, had an aggregated value of $98,426,264 and were not, as was stated in yesterday’s OCG media release, all awarded by the KSAC.
Of the 114 contracts, 104 contracts, valuing $83,442,480, were awarded to the contractor by the KSAC, whilst the remaining 10 contracts were awarded to the contractor by the other public bodies, which include the Ministry of Education, Factories Corporation, National Water Commission and Social Development Fund.

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