Categorized | National News

Griffin Says Government Not Corrupt

Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin on Tuesday defended the government against claims of corruption from critics who have charged that recent audits which revealed fraud and revenue loss amounting to millions of dollars in the Department of Social Services and the Road Traffic Department show that the government is breeding a culture of corruption.

Last week Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Candidate for Garden Hills and party spokesman on the economy, Youri Kemp lambasted Mrs. Griffin charging that her response to the revealed fraudulent scheme within her department was nonchalant and near apathetic; adding that the government is corrupt and all too familiar with such situations.

Mrs. Griffin refuted those claims.

“This government is not corrupt. This government is the government that recognises the systemic problem in the system that we operate on and this is the government that is doing something about it. This is the government that is modernising the system, reforming the system so that we will be able to as we move forward to ensure that we can at least reduce it,” she said.

“There is no corruption in this government. This government means well for this country and we’re doing well for this country under the leadership of the Honourable Perry Gladstone Christie.” she added.

Last month Mrs. Griffin noted that after the auditor general’s report was released in parliament, at least one staff member was terminated, while two others were placed on administrative leave.

Meanwhile, the minister noted that the matter is under police investigation, but however, she was unable to say whether there would be additional action taken.

Mrs. Griffin also sought to clarify what she said is a misconception that the department encountered $4 million in fraud, as she charged that that is incorrect.

“What we have is $1100 worth of food coupons that have been the subject of fraud and also we have a $6,900 medical expense from that in order to believe that there was collusion. The service provider has already reimbursed the government that $6,900. So basically the issue now is the $1100,” Mrs. Griffin said.

“So the $4 million that continues to come up, actually the auditor’s concern was there was no proper authorisation for it, or proper reconciliation. Those funds were payments to vendors, and the payment went to the vendors. All he’s saying is that we have to tighten up the authorizations.” she added.

The Social Service Minister reiterated that her department has and continues to implement recommendations put in place by the auditor general, Terrance Bastian.


Reiterating that the pre paid electronic card system which is replacing what she calls an “archaic” system of paper files and pre printed food coupons, will eliminate further issues of fraud.


Mrs. Griffin said much progress is being made with the implementation of the electronic cards.


She said card distribution should be completed by the end of July.




Written by Jones Bahamas

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