Categorized | National News

FNM Condemns Urban Renewal’s Attacks on Bastian

Members of the Free National Movement are condemning what they call a “shameful display of arrogance” by Urban Renewal co-chairs following the auditor general’s report on the Small Homes Repair Programme.

In a statement released yesterday, FNM members said it unacceptable and improper for Prime Minister Perry Christie “to sit idly by twiddling his thumbs and remain silent while the auditor general is being attacked for doing his constitutional job by persons he appointed.”

Last week Urban Renewal Co-Chairs Cynthia “Mother” Pratt and Algernon Allen disputed claims of fraud made by Auditor General Terrance Bastian in his report concerning the Small Homes Repair Programme.

Allen challenged the report’s call for “transparency and due diligence,” claiming that the audit report has “erroneous statements.”

However, the FNM is calling Allen and Pratt’s behaviour inappropriate.

According to the FNM members, the auditor general’s report identified and highlighted many weaknesses in the area of disbursement of the tax payer’s monies, and the lack of accountability, and transparency in the use of public funds as well as in the execution of the programme.

“Instead of acknowledging the weaknesses and taking the required steps to strengthen the systems outlined in the report, the government through two of its senior employees immediately and unfairly unleashed a wicked and unfair personal attack on the auditor general and his staff,” the FNM statement read. “They branded the report as ‘nit-picking, unfair, and a slight to the poor.’”

Following the prime minister’s recent speech in Panama, where he said that he is aware of the possible negative impact that disrespect and insolence play in the minds of professionals (especially by politicians and their operatives), if they were to consider leaving The Bahamas to seek employment elsewhere, is a reason why the FNM believes the prime minister should have no excuse to allow Allen and Pratt to attack the auditor general.

The FNM members expressed that the prime minister has no excuse to allow his co-chairs to unleash an unprecedented attack on the auditor general because it is reprehensible and unacceptable to every Bahamian.

“The prime minister knows that the auditor general of The Bahamas is a consummate professional and a man of great integrity. And, as such, he would have provided a report based on the documents presented to him by the permanent secretary. His duty therefore, was to ensure that all of the necessary financial protocols were observed and to report his findings. The auditor general did just that,” the statement said.

The FNM members explained that the prime minister, Allen and Pratt are fully aware of the role and responsibilities of the auditor general because he is mandated to examine and carefully provide an account as to how the public’s monies are disbursed and spent.

“Consequently, the auditor general should not have been dragged into this fabricated controversy for doing his job, especially since he cannot defend himself publically like the co-chairs,” the FNM members said.

“This despicable action by the co-chairs and the government has given the impression to all, that professionals such as the auditor general are only respected if they present reports that are favourable to the government. If the reports are not favourable, the PLP (Progressive Liberal Party) has shown that they are all prepared to unleash wicked personal attacks on any such professional to deflect from the truth.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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