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PM’s luxury ride raises eyebrows in Parliament Committee

The Office of the Prime Minister last year paid Beharry Automotive Sales Limited a total of $22M for three vehicles, payments which were made using money allocated to be spent the previous year as well as paid up front only for delivery to be made nine months later.
“Everything is wrong about this transaction and it falls on the lap of the accounting officer (Permanent Secretary),” was the retort of the chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

The matter came to a head today (May 22, 2017) when Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency, Abena Moore, was called in to provide clarity on the discrepancies raised by the Auditor General in his 2015 Report related to the purchase of a $13M luxury vehicle for Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.

A barely audible Moore, was unable at numerous times during the hours long grilling by the Parliamentary Committee to provide satisfactory answers and committed to provide all outstanding information at a later date.

Acting Chairperson of the Committee, Peoples Progressive Party Civic Member of Parliament, Bishop Juan Edghill, raised the matter and sought to query the procurement methods used but was told that government approached Beharry Automotive Sales directly to make the purchase since that was the only supplier.

That answer clearly irked Chairperson Edghill who quickly quipped, “monies were appropriated through an Appropriation Act for the purchase of a vehicle for the Office of Prime Minister…It did not say a Toyota Vehicle.”

The Committee Chairperson (ag) insists that it was only after the money was appropriated and procurement process engaged then the brand of vehicle could be known.

Having been told that Beharry Automative Sales was approached to sole source the vehicle, the chairperson raised the matter of payments since the contract stipulated that 50 per cent of the monies would be paid at the time of the order and the remainder paid at the time of delivery.

The Committee heard however that the auto dealer was in fact paid all the money upfront with two cheques which one technical officer attempted to explain away as a mistake.
“This is PAC you are talking to madam…A cheque could only be cut based on a process to give approval for the cutting of that cheque,” he explained.

Permanent Secretary Moore, at this point committed to providing the information at a later date as to specifically why the two cheques were cut at the same time and both paid to the auto dealer up front.
The extended delivery time by Beharry Automative Sales also proved to be a source of consternation for the technical officers none of whom could adequately explain the nine month delivery for a vehicle that was already paid in full.
The use of the monies in 2016 caused Finance Secretary Dr Hector Butts—at the behest of the Committee Chair—to intervene to explain to the Permanent Secretary how monies are to be rolled over for expenditure in the following year.

By the end of the lengthy PAC session involving Moore and the Minsitry of the Presidency, she conceded that none of the Financial Transactions for which she is being ‘hauled over the proverbial coals’ was overseen by her but rather the fired Permanent Secretary Omar Shariff.
The Committee heard that the luxury vehicle for Prime Minister nagamootoo was purchased at a cost of $13M and the remainder of the amount in the allocation was used to purchase two other vehicles—a car and motor cycle—from the same auto dealer under the same arrangements.

The Committee also heard that the Ministry of the Presidency in 2015 also paid almost $20M upfront to a US based company—Moonblink Communications Inc—to supply a quantity of Closed Circuit Television Cameras.

The money was paid using a Contingency Fund advance and Moore reasoned that the purchase was deemed to be urgent, unavoidable and unforeseen as catered for in the laws.

The Committee heard however that to date none of the equipment has been supplied and the company has in fact gone out of business.

According to Moore, “I engaged the Minister of State (Joseph Harmon) on this matter; he is speaking with the Minister of Legal Affairs (Basil Williams.”

She said too, the Ministry has also been looking to engage the American Embassy to solicit assistance in recovering the money.

There was no bond securing the transaction.

  • rs dasai

    Following in whose footsteps?

    • Ashley Singh

      In Burnham’s and Jagdeo’s footsteps.. When will the m’asses, get out of the lonG, long COMA.

      • Orin Peters

        Let me just say this to you go and turn pm of guyana and use DONKEY CART YOU don’t let me call you nasty name.you might want more than Nagga.PUT YOUR SELF IN MY PLACE ONLY FOR A DAY OK.

        • eddie

          akoo,, this same PM was the one that was critical of these same issue, you see when u na ga wan mind of you own how people does spit in you mouth and you swallow

  • rudeo

    corruption is an institution…and is NOT related to “party/govt supporters”…..just plain greed of man….MONEY…the root of all evil

    • Ashley Singh

      It is related to the eople whop hold the reigns of power.

    • rs dasai

      rudeo
      Money is ‘never’ the root of evil.

  • ExPPP_Man

    This is the man who said you can’t live a Cadillac life style in a donkey cart economy.

    • Ashley Singh

      This is the man who is fattening himself. TIME. will tell.

    • afc=kfc=uf=dead meat 2020

      nansense – burnham said dat baabuu

    • Col123

      Hey KKK guy… you jealous a you buddy from abra cadabra college. Alyou people like big house and fancy cars…alyou ead haad and didn’t learn anything from Gandhi…… that detachment yoga thingy alyou preach is just like the Vatican… whoring…hoarding material things, money and gold…

  • Col123

    Wow! This brotha of West Indian origin appears resigned and perplexed over his future. He did so many great changes for the country in the PPP, and now in the PNC , and has self actualized to the prominent position as PM! The few toys from the blaring sirens from cars with the big house are not enough for his contributions. Grangie who just touched the queen should award him KCMG title without hesitation. The ppp should leave the dude alone so he gets enough time to contemplate how he will bite the bullet.

    • GUYANA THE HELLHOLE !

      yes like hamilton green
      anada pig @ d trough

  • Orin Peters

    I like to deal with facts so when the previous gov’t did win by one seat them nah bin rigg.you see how yuh does put yuh mouth in trouble.Ramotar and ppp big word lol parliament something wah Burnham neva do and them does call he dictator .you see how people does spit in people like you mouth and yuh does swalla because yuh nah gat wan mind a yuh own .

  • Orin Peters

    You full of yuh self nobody nah want yuh vote if them does rigg and in guyana most of the politicians dont have more integrity more than NAGGA so yuh tek that fuh yuh fassness.He had plenty when he bin in ppp so he loose all because he left.So if yuh angry with this article print yuh own papa or guh drink poison and stop yuh missery

  • Orin Peters

    Let me ask you this question so you telling me Jagdeo ,Ramotar and company did betta than Cheddie Jagan so shut you mouth or because jagan dead mek yuh a behave suh

  • rs dasai

    Col
    do you suppose that all these ‘know alls’ who believe that money is the root of evil, will make the two of us the .evilist’ persons on earth? No way.

    • Col123

      Hey Mr RS..money and material things are never ours… my Mom taught me that..but then again, we have functional brains…. she would never know how much I value my golf clubs though.. and how much thoughts I put into hitting my balls … golf balls that is..

  • rs dasai

    OP
    The Jagster is as poor as a million church mice. He only keeps company with the rich ones to look like he is in the $$$$.

  • Col123

    He is an idiot with out a funcktional brain… how would he get rich from azz kissing?..first coalie with out a functional brain in Guyana.

  • Col123

    He Burnham is answering for Wismar rape and massacre and his soul is there… who will answer for those 400 with their AK47 that were killed?

  • Col123

    At least he got rich for his troubles!

  • Col123

    And you envying those who worked for theirs

  • eddie

    someday day you will use your brain and be relevant