Opposition Leader calls for release of forensic reports

first_imgSOCU prosecutions…Minister says businessmen among those implicatedQuestioning the need for secrecy with the forensic audits the Government commissioned, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is challenging the Administration to release, unredacted, remaining reports.Jagdeo issued this challenge during his recent press conference. He made reference to the ongoing Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) case. The Opposition Leader reminded that the defendants were being charged without the opportunity to even see the forensic audit report that allegedly incriminated them.“They should release all the forensic audit reports. Look at the case they built against some of our Members of Parliament using ostensibly, a forensic audit report into the Guyana Rice Development Board and then they are refusing to give it to the defence.”Minister within the Finance Ministry, Jaipaul Sharma“The defence had to go to court to order a copy and that is fair… but then they redacted most of the report. What is so secret about these audits? What do you have to redact? If you find corruption, then you find it. It is as simple as that… Make all the forensic audit reports public. We have been saying this for a while. And then people will see how shoddy some of these works are.”Jagdeo went on to question whether the reluctance to release the remaining audits may have something to do with the quality of work. There have been cases where officials who were subject to specific audits raised this very concern.But when contacted, Minister within the Finance Ministry, Jaipaul Sharma, questioned Jagdeo’s calls for the audits in the first place. According to Sharma, releasing the audits would give those implicated a heads up. And those implicated run the gamut from Public to Private Sector.“The forensic audits (implicated) other people. Business people… the forensic audits will have names of business people,” Sharma explained. “We don’t know if they’re guilty or not. I don’t personally think we should do that (release reports). The Police also don’t think we should share it, because it’s currently under active investigation.”Since coming to office, the coalition Government has initiated forensic audits into a number of Government entities. Over $130 million has been spent on these audits, which total 50. Having been completed by a number of local audit firms, they were handed over to the Police for investigations and prosecution.None have resulted in convictions. In fact, one resulted in an acquittal. That is the audit into the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC).In a previous interview with this publication in September of last year, Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) head, Assistant Commissioner of Police Sydney James, had made mention of cases being delayed. He had revealed that since being handed over 20 forensic audit reports, the Unit had managed to complete investigations into three of these matters.Those matters were their investigations into Pradoville 2, the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited, and the Commonwealth Reports for which former Attorney General Anil Nandlall was charged.James had noted that SOCU’s other investigations were still a work in progress. He had revealed that in some cases, they were awaiting legal advice. Pressed on the delay, James questioned whether he had the authority to find out reasons for the delay from the Police Force’s Legal Advisor.Following last year’s appointment of the Unit’s special advisor, UK specialist Sam Sittlington, SOCU in a bold move had arrested and questioned a number of top officials from the previous Government. These arrests were in connection to property purchased at the Sparendaam seawall area on the East Coast that is commonly known as “Pradoville 2”.While the current Administration contends that the transaction is a criminal act because of the belief that the land was sold below market value, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had argued that subsidised housing has always been a part of the legacy of the PPP, and that countless Guyanese have benefited from lands sold below market value. No further action was ever pursued against these former officials and the arrests prompted resounding cries of ‘witch-hunting’.last_img read more

Kurtenbach: 10 things we learned about the Warriors this preseason

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.After a tumultuous offseason, that saw the exit of Kevin Durant to Brooklyn, pen meeting paper on new deals for Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, nine new players joining the roster, and the franchise’s move across the bay to San Francisco, it’s fair to say that the Warriors’ 2019 preseason was expected to be interesting.But this interesting?That, I’m not so sure about. Two wins and a never-ending string …last_img

Which Heating Fuel is Cheaper, Electricity or Natural Gas?

first_imgMost green builders want to choose an environmentally responsible heating fuel, which is why an increasing number of green homes are all-electric. To prevent catastrophic climate change, we need to make a rapid transition away from the burning of fossil fuels (including natural gas, propane, and oil) toward the use of renewable energy (for example, electricity generated by photovoltaic arrays or wind turbines).That said, many builders and homeowners have been using natural gas for heating for many years. Before they make the switch to electricity, they often ask an important question: Which heating fuel is cheaper, natural gas or electricity?In most U.S. states, the answer is natural gas — but there are exceptions. As with most energy-related questions, the accurate answer is, “It depends.”Natural gas is cheap in Alaska, where residential customers pay only $4.68 per 1,000 cubic feet. On the other hand, natural gas is expensive in Florida, where residential customers pay $16.77 per 1,000 cubic feet.Electricity is cheap in Louisiana and Washington, where residential customers pay only 9.7 cents per kWh. On the other hand, electricity is expensive in Connecticut, where residential customers pay 20.3 cents per kWh — more than twice as much as homeowners in Louisiana.When it comes to energy costs, Hawaii is an outlier. All forms of energy are expensive in Hawaii:  natural gas costs residential customers $25.83 per 1,000 cubic feet, while residential electricity costs 29.5 cents per kWh. Fortunately, most Hawaiian residents don’t have to worry about heating fuel costs.If you want to know which heating fuel is cheaper in your area, you have to do the math.Step one: Determine your local fuel prices. You can either look up these prices on your utility bills, call up your local utility, or use the statewide averages shown in the table below.Once you know your fuel… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

Northants openers hammer Indian bolwers, reach 198/0 at tea

first_imgZaheer Khan’s much expected return to action after his hamstring injury lasted a mere three overs.Frontline Indian bowlers suffered a humiliating hammering at the hands of Northamptonshire openers as the home side racked up 198 for no loss by tea on the final day of the two-day warm-up game on Saturday.Right-handed Mal Loye (97) and left-handed Niall O’ Brien (85) were not separated at the tea break as the visitors went through their motions in the field.Northamptonshire trail by 154 runs with 10 wickets intact in their first innings. India had made 352 all out in their first innings.Zaheer Khan’s much expected return to action after his hamstring injury lasted a mere three overs before he parked himself in the pavilion and did not come out thereafter at all. By the looks, things do not appear too bright for the left-arm seamer ahead of the third Test between India and England at Edgbaston starting on April 10.Loye and Brien batted with authority and imposed themselves on the Indian bowlers even though leg-spinner Amit Mishra would feel that the umpire at his end was particularly hard on a couple of his genuine appeals.Pacers S Sreesanth and Munaf Patel were treated without respect by the Northants openers for 51 runs in their 10 overs each while Mishra conceded 44 runs from 17 overs. Part-timer Suresh Raina was punished for 21 runs from his five overs.As the end of post-lunch session drew nearer, Indians had begun to bowl no-balls and conceding byes off the errant bowling.Northamptonshire’s top order did not have a particularly good time at the crease this season so this success of their openers would particularly rankle the visitors.advertisement- With PTI inputslast_img read more