Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Guyanese authorities probing misappropriation of funds at health ministry

Published:Wednesday | June 20, 2018 | 10:34 AM

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The police and auditors from the Ministry of Finance have been called in to conduct a joint-probe at the Ministry of Public Health, following reports of fraud.

Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence has warned senior employees to look out for police detectives and the internal auditors.

Lawrence, who is a professional accountant, said that she told employees when she took over the mantle in January 2017 that she would not tolerate dishonest workers.

In a frank discourse with senior officials at the ministry, Lawrence raised questions about “blatant attempts to steal” and other brazen dishonest acts perpetrated by employees. 

Lawrence said the police and officials from the Ministry of Finance will carry out open investigations into ongoing corrupt practices by staff members.

“Fraud has been ongoing a long time at the Public Health Ministry”, Lawrence said.

Cautioning programme managers, who appeared stunned by her revelations, Lawrence said, “I am advising you to check what you sign and ensure it meets the regulatory requirements and it is in keeping with your programmes”.

“I will not compromise on the issue of accountability within the public health sector’.

The Minister did not hide her distaste for employees who have been “sabotaging the Ministry left, right and centre.” 

Some workers have even been sending missives on internal Ministry matters to persons outside the Public Service Structure, Lawrence revealed.

She indicated that letter writers will shortly have the opportunity to “bring the evidence” to support their claims.

She also addressed the issue of insubordination, which is said to be rife among some categories of employees.

“Some parts of the MOPH train have been derailed (and) the madness has to stop,”   Lawrence said.

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