Categorized | National News

Mother Pratt: I Did Nothing Wrong

Amidst growing criticisms surrounding the Urban Renewal Commission’s (URC) operations since 2012, the organisation’s co-chair Cynthia “Mother” Pratt maintains she has done nothing wrong.

 On Wednesday, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) released a report on the URC, condemning the organisation for “a host of functional deficiencies”, including fraud, lack of accountability and transparency.

 Included in the report was also admittance that the URC contracted an unqualified quantity surveyor to oversee a Small Homes Repair project.

 The Bahama Journal attempted to receive comments from Mrs. Pratt on the issue, but she opted not to.

 However, she said her conscience is clear.

 “I am comforted in the fact that I have done nothing wrong. Therefore I am not concerned about what the reports are saying,” she said.

 Meanwhile co-chair Algernon Allen said he too, will refrain from comment until after discussions with relevant parties.

 Urban Renewal 2.0 was launched in July 2012, with the aim to fight crime and to build stronger communities, through a multiplicity of methods including after school programmes and police and community partnerships.

 Since its 2012 launch, over $20 million has been pumped into the programme for the purpose of special employment projects.

 URC was said to have assisted with over 3,000 homes.

 Meanwhile the PAC in its report insisted that the financial management of the URC was flawed, lacking quality assurance standards.

 “This is exemplified by subpar record keeping with regard to the programme’s various bank accounts, multiple disbursals which lack a proper paper trail and one account in particular, the ‘Private Account’ to which the co-chairs are signatories, existing with no oversight whatsoever for the first six months, contrary to the stipulations of the Ministry of Finance, acting in accordance with the Financial Administration and Audit Act,” the report read.

 “There were also concerns about the security of government information, with one senior official, Permanent Secretary Diana Lightbourne, admitting she discussed sensitive URC business using her personal email account which at some point was compromised,” the report said.





Written by Jones Bahamas

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