Categorized | National News

Minister Unsure Of Audit Release Date

Despite having the report in his possession for two weeks, the Minister responsible for the National Insurance Board (NIB), Shane Gibson told reporters that he still can not say when the results of that audit will be released.

Speaking to reporters before the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday, Minister Gibson could not give reporters any specific timeline for the release of the report.

“Right now we are in the process of having it reviewed,” he said.

“I had an opportunity to read through most of it over the weekend. The attorney general got a copy and the prime minister got a copy and as soon as we have completed the review and received our legal advice we will release it. I can not tell you for sure when it will be released.”

Minister Gibson also refuted reports about the possibility of the report being leaked.

“Nobody has gotten the document to date with the exception of three people and I don’t see anything anywhere that would suggest that anything came from those documents so far,” he said.

He said the report is over 400 pages.

Last year, the Christie administration hired the Grant Thornton firm to audit NIB’s accounts and investigate allegations of mismanagement at NIB.

The probe was initiated after then NIB Chairman Gregory Moss and NIB’s Board wrote a 22-page letter highlighting a string of serious allegations against now suspended NIB Director Algernon Cargill over his alleged spending habits.

Mr. Cargill, in an affidavit, fired back noting that he had previously raised concerns of his own about Mr. Moss’ spending, particularly as it related to a corporate credit card.

Mr. Gibson told reporters last week that what he read so far was “shocking.”

“I started to read it [Monday] night and as far as I’m concerned, it’s shocking to me,” he said at the time.

“It’s even worse than I thought it would be. So, hopefully after we’ve had a chance to have it properly scrutinised and I receive advice from my colleagues and the [attorney general] hopefully in short order we could be making some decisions as to the way forward. We will have to make a decision as to how we react to the report. Based on what I see we have to look at amending our operational policies and procedures.”

The NIB minister said there needs to be some clear guidelines as to the levels of authority.
“We need to make it clear as to who would have individual authority versus the board having authority,” he said.

“I think one thing that is very apparent in the report is the fact that some individuals thought that their position gave them more authority than it did. So, we will have to review all of those things to make sure that at the end of the day National Insurance is able to respond to the needs of those who contribute to it in years to come. It is very interesting. Once you look at it [the report] you will see exactly what I’m talking about.”

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Hubert Chipman recently told the media that it plans to probe NIB’s accounts.

But, Minister Gibson said he is not sure that the PAC can probe corporation accounts.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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