Categorized | National News

Minister Calls for Hurricane Relief Audit

Kwasi ThompsonMinister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson announced that an audit will be done to examine the spending of more than $1 million in hurricane relief funds because the manner in which the funds were spent is quite disturbing.

Thompson made the announcement in a statement yesterday, where he revealed that more than $1 million of the hurricane relief funds were paid for clean up, but there is no record on file for the work.

“It was alarming that the funds to the tune of well over $1 million was paid to one particular person for clean up without any scope of work on file, no bids submitted and no written verification from the Ministry of Works that the work was performed for the money spent,” Thompson said.

“It is troubling that persons were provided contracts of employment for $18,000 per year and received salaries to be liaisons with Family Island administrators and the persons never reported to the administrators.”

Thompson explained that it is also troubling to discover that contracts valuing up to $200,000 were issued to persons to repair public buildings without Cabinet approval, without the required bid process and little documentary evidence that the proper verifications were done before the monies were paid out.

However, he assured that an audit of all these and other matters will be undertaken to ensure that the public received value for money spent.

“We have instructed that proper protocols be reinstated to prevent abuse,” Thompson said.

Last year, Grand Bahama received severe damages from Hurricane Matthew.

Many residents in Grand Bahama lost their homes and businesses because of the storm.

As a result of Hurricane Matthew, the unemployment rate in Grand Bahama increased.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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