PAC’s and Audit Office’s uphill task

first_imgDear Editor,The current difficulties being experienced by members of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament in getting information regarding millions of dollars in funds provided by Central Government since 2015 to the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, though disappointing and worrying should come as no surprise to anyone in this country.Financial management at the Georgetown Municipality has to be the worst not just in Guyana, but surely breaks a record in this region and possibly across the globe.The fact that City Hall’s yearly budget is never published in a detailed way to be scrutinized by the public is no oversight on the part of the Council, it is deliberate. The fact that Council gives out hundreds of millions of dollars yearly in contracts without adherence to the policies and guidelines of the National Procurement & Tender Administration (NPTA) of Guyana is no mistake on their part, it is intentionally and knowingly done in order to award grossly bloated contracts to friends and family.It is just unimaginable that the Council would have been allowed to avoid having its accounts, its financial records and its systems audited during the life of this Council and the previous Council from 1994 to now. Which other public entity in this world would be allowed such laxity?But most worrying in all of this is that in spite of this well-known negligence and venality that has been going on at City Hall, successive central governments have been bailing them out with billions of dollars over the last 24 years without insisting that their books be audited. Simply incredible!Expenditure allocated by Parliament for the Ministry of Communities should have never been handed over to the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown, without strict conditionality and should have been stringently monitored every step of the way. Handing over hundreds of millions of dollars to the City Council was asking for trouble, the trouble that the PAC is now encountering.The members of the PAC should not expect answers or explanations to the discrepancies discovered any time soon, because the Council is not accustomed and is unwilling to answer to anyone regarding its errant behaviour.The Audit Office of Guyana has admitted that it has been awaiting the supply of the documents for several months from the Georgetown Municipality. It must be pellucid by now that none are forthcoming.I wish the Public Accounts Committee and the Audit Office of Guyana, the best of luck in unraveling the mysteries of the Georgetown Municipality. There are so many secrets there, so many hidden facts that a book could be written of the City Council.Sincerely,James Mc Onnelllast_img read more

Modern Soil Science Lab Inaugurated in Nimba

first_imgAn American funded non-governmental organization (NGO), Food and Enterprise Development (FED), on October 27, inaugurated a modern soil science laboratory at the Nimba County Community College (NCCC) in Sanniquellie.“The project is to enhance the study of soil quality in order to promote food productivity in the county,” one of the agriculture experts at the ceremony told the Daily Observer.The science lab, built at an estimated cost of US$70, 000, will provide services to the agriculture students in the college and also help local farmers understand the types of soil they are cultivating.“Through the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/FED), agriculture students enrolled at the four Centers of Excellence in Vocational Agricultural Education in Liberia including the Booker Washington Institute, the Grand Bassa, Lofa and Nimba County Community colleges, will now have access to modern science laboratories,” said Boima Bafaia, USAID/FED Deputy Chief of Party.He said to ensure quality agriculture education in Liberia the USAID/FED has established the Centers in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MOE) at the community colleges. The colleges will offer a two-year National Diploma in Agriculture (NDA) program.“The NDA program,” said Mr. Bafaia, “is Liberia’s market-driven vocational agriculture program that prepares the country’s youth for careers in agriculture.”The NDA, which was developed by the MOE with support from the USAID/FED, offers core courses such as crop cultivation, irrigation, soil science and animal husbandry as well as essential knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship, leadership and communication, according to FED.“USAID/FED is equipping these Centers of Excellence with science labs in order to aid delivery of the NDA and ensure practical learning for students. It will also offer fee-based services to the surrounding communities and other educational institutions to help generate revenue for the upkeep of the laboratory facilities and equipment,” said Mr. Bafaia.The USAID/FED is the flagship program under the Feed the Future Initiative of President Barrack Obama in Liberia and aims to increase productivity and profitability of food crops, stimulate growth of agricultural enterprises and build agriculture workforce capacity.It focuses on staple foods like rice and cassava and food-based value chains, such as vegetables and goats that can assist in improving nutrition and income.USAID/FED started with the NCCC in 2011 and at present, they have built an internet technology (IT) center with a modern computer lab and other facilities, according to Dr. Yar Gonway Gono, President of the College.The local government officials, headed by Supt. Fong Zuagele, were in a happy mood as they toured the facility, which is fully air conditioned and equipped with modern laboratory equipment.“This institution is the Center of Excellence for the citizens of Nimba and we are very happy with the interest which the government and people of the United States of America are showing in this country,” the Superintendent said.“We want to thank President Obama and the American people for ensuring that the young people are skilful enough to feed themselves,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Deputy NHA Officer Returns from a 2-Day Visit to Ghana

first_imgC. Raphael During, Sr, Deputy Officer-in-Charge, NHA –Meets with officials of Managing Partners of Capetano Oil LimitedThe Deputy Officer-in-Charge of the National Housing Authority (NHA), C. Raphael During, has concluded a two (Feb. 22-23) official visit with officials of Managing Partners of Capetano Oil Limited in Accra, Ghana.Mr. During met with representatives of Managing Partners of Capetano Oil Limited, including, Jeremie Wilson, managing partner and Nicky Wilson, the executive director.The meeting was arranged by Hon. Zoe Emmanuel Pennue, chairman on State-Owned Enterprises of the House of Representatives.Mr. During said the meeting centered how Capetano Oil Limited could invest in the real estate sector to build affordable houses in Liberia.Capetano Oil Limited is based in Ghana with affiliates in the United Kingdom that invest in the real estate sector.Their interest sparked from President George Weah’s top priority enshrined in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity in the affordable housing sector.Mr. During, at the meeting, thanked Capetano for its interest in the housing sector in Liberia and gave detailed explanation on the policy guidelines established the committee on investment at the NHA, on the procedures to carry out such an investment in the housing sector through the National Housing Authority (NHA).Based on the discussion, the interest in constructing affordable housing in Liberia is a major investment that sets standards on variables such as land acquisition, financial implications and returns and guarantee by the Government of Liberia.According to Mr. During, while the NHA appreciates the strong interest to get the project done, Capetano should do an official request and submit copies of their credentials, including profile, to the NHA for advanced discussions.According to a release from the NHA, Capetano is very intrigued by the opportunities to invest in Liberia and their representatives said they would work as soon as possible to send an official ‘Expression of Interest’ in the housing to the NHA.Capetano’s officials are meanwhile expected in Monrovia as guests of the Government of Liberia, through the NHA for the first round of discussions at the latter part of March 2019.Capetano Oil Limited said it is willing to bring investment to Liberia once discussions on several key issues are addressed by the proper authorities. Its officials are willing to make their first trip to Liberia to sign a Non-Discloser (Non-Binding) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cement the partnership with the Government of Liberia through the National Housing Authority, after the competition of discussions.The NHA has received several requests from international partners who have expressed interested in the real estate sector.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man gets 16 years for killing ‘child mother’, attempted murder of teen

first_imgPaul Scotland was on Tuesday handed two sentences for fatally stabbing to death the mother of his three children, Monica Adams at her mother’s Paradise, East Coast Demerara (ECD) home and for wounding the woman’s brother, Charles Elliot, on January 3, 2014.Murdered: Monica AdamsJustice Navindra Singh sentenced him to 16 years after he pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. Scotland reportedly killed the woman by attacking and stabbing her several times about the body.The court heard that he had gone to the home and saw her with another man and as such, summoned her outside. She refused and the offender grabbed her by the hair and dragged her into the backyard.When her younger brother, then 16-year-old Charles Elliott intervened by lashing Scotland with a shower rod to stop the attack, he turned on the young man and also stabbed him once before fleeing the scene.The offender’s lawyer, Dexter Todd told the court that his client was in his 20s when the killing took place.Todd claimed that the couple shared a “warm relationship” which bore three children. He added that his client has exhibited good behaviour and was even selected as an orderly in prison. Prosecutor Gibbs petitioned for a sentence reflecting the nature and gravity of the offence.Convicted: Paul ScotlandAccording to reports, Scotland and Adams had shared a rocky relationship and relatives had stated that he refused to allow the woman to cut ties, reportedly promising to kill her.During his sentencing on Tuesday, he apologised for what had happened, saying he acted out of frustration when he saw her with someone else.“It was out of frustration by coming and witnessing her with another man … I beg for mercy. Charles, I never meant what happened,” he said. In handing down the sentence, Justice Singh told Scotland that he reacted badly and that he should have walked away. The Judge, however, noted that upon his release, the offender can be an asset to society.Both sentences will run concurrently; however, the Prison Service will deduct the five years the accused spent on remand awaiting trial.last_img read more

MS fundraiser set for Saturday

first_imgHarris is leaving for Mexico, one of the countries offering the procedure, on Friday.Welsh says the overall goal is to raise $80,000 from all of the group’s fundraising efforts. The money will go towards helping both Harris and Osterlund as well as other residents who may wish to have the procedure.Tickets are being sold for $35 a person and can be purchased at the Legion, World Gym, Fort Motors, or by calling Janine at 250-789-3325. It will begin at 6 p.m.MS is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks myelin sheaths in the brain causing of debilitation over time.Advertisement Canada has one of the highest incidence rates of MS in the world.Welsh says there are approximately 275 people living with the disease in the Fort St. John area.Rocky Tompkins, another Fort St. John resident, is an MS sufferer who has already undergone the procedure. He was able to raise money to travel to Mexico in July. Residents of Fort St. John living with multiple sclerosis are getting a funding boost to help send them for an experimental treatment.center_img A local group is holding a fundraiser this weekend to financially support two residents so they can receive the “Liberation Treatment.”- Advertisement -The “Liberation Treatment” made headlines across Canada when it was profiled in a ‘W5’ episode last fall. It was developed by an Italian doctor but is not currently available in Canada.Tickets are currently being sold for a dinner and dance taking place at the Legion, on Saturday. The event will also include both a live and silent auction, and a live band.Janine Welsh is the fundraiser and treasurer of the MS Liberation Support group in the City.She says the two residents who are set to receive the treatment are Brent Harris and Holley Osterlund, who are both under 50 years old and live in an assisted living home in the City.Advertisementlast_img read more

Another one signs! Dzeko agrees new deal at Manchester City

first_img Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko has become the latest Manchester City star to agree a new long-term deal with the Premier League champions.The Bosnian international dazzled in the Blues’ opening day 2-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday and has now signed fresh terms on a four-year contract at the Etihad.Dzeko joins fellow City stars Sergio Aguero, Aleksandar Kolarov, Samir Nasri, David Silva and captain Vincent Kompany in agreeing a new deal with Manuel Pellegrini’s side.And the 28-year-old told the club’s official website: “I’m really happy here at City – it’s a second home to me so it was an easy decision to stay for the long-term.“I knew from the beginning when I started here that I wanted to stay for a long time – I can’t see any place better than here.“I’m settled perfectly to life here, I know my team-mates, the club, the team, very well and I feel like I can improve even more.“Over the last three-and-a-half years we’ve made history together but I feel like we are only at the start of something really special.“There are still so many objectives and goals that I want to reach from my career in the game and I believe I am in the perfect place to achieve them all.” 1last_img read more


first_imgLetterkenny Rovers manager Liam O’Donnell has secretly hoped he could flood Cockhill Celtic’s defence in the Under 16 National Cup.But not even the man known across Donegal as Keadue could have planned for what happened next. Because if O’Donnell had any concerns about his defence leaking goals – he needn’t have worried.Both Cockhill and Letterkenny togged out but had to eventually to submit to the elements.If only they had brought the canoes and swimming trunks!Ends IS THIS THE LEAKIEST DEFENCE IN DONEGAL FOOTBALL? was last modified: October 23rd, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:abandonedCockhillLetterkenny Roverslast_img read more


first_imgNew champion John Wallace celebrates his famous win.Broseph Cup champions Noel and Mark Forker celebrate their epic win.Dungloe darts player John Wallace was crowned the new Rambo Memorial Darts Champion at the O’Donnell Darting Arena on Sunday night. The annual tournament which takes place every December, attracts players from Scotland, England and America.Previous winners Noel Forker and Stephen Rodgers were hotly tipped along with Patrick O’Donnell and Michael O’Donnell to land the coveted prize, but it was Wallace who powered his way to victory. Wallace was hugely impressive and delivered exceptionally consistent performances throughout the entire tournament.Wallace eliminated Stephen Rodgers and Patrick O’Donnell before defeating Luton based thrower Martin McGonagle in an entertaining final.In the ‘Broseph Cup’ pairs competition it was yet another success for the Forker family.The local darting dynasty added yet more Rambo memorial silverware to their mantelpiece with a stunning comeback victory. Brothers Noel and Mark battled back from a seemingly hopeless losing position of 2-0 in the final to win 3-2 against brothers Patrick and John O’Donnell to silence the partisan crowd.WALLACE SHOWS A ‘BRAVEDART’ TO WIN ROSSES DARTS COMPETITION was last modified: December 31st, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:championDartsJohn WallaceRambo MemorialrossesSportlast_img read more


first_imgSenior Garda management are seeking to end a practise which sees them bringing fine defaulters to jail.The Donegal woman was brought to Mountjoy by taxi for not paying a fine.It follows an incident recently when a Donegal woman was taken from her house at 7am and brought by Gardai to Mountjoy Prison in Dublin in a taxi.The woman, a single mother in her 40s, had not paid a court fine in full after being found guilty of not having a TV license. She was released from the Duachas Women’s Prison and given a bus ticket home after spending just three hours locked up.Now a senior Garda source has revealed that senior officers have been looking to have the practise scrapped.“It is something that management have been looking at, particularly for penal warrants and it is our very strong view that we shouldn’t be involved in that at all.“It should be outsourced, but not to the Gardai. It shouldn’t be the guards’ duty to collect revenue on behalf of the state,” the senior Garda told the Irish Mail on Sunday newspaper. The senior source from Garda Headquarters added that it appeared the Donegal was “over the top.”“On the face of it, it was really over the top. When a warrant is issued the Garda cannot show discretion.But it is something that we are reviewing and it should not rest because it is not really a Garda function,” added the source. GARDAI TO REVIEW FINES COLLECTION AFTER DONEGAL WOMAN BROUGHT TO JAIL IN TAXI was last modified: March 2nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegaldublinfinepriosnprisontaxiTV licenselast_img read more

TD calls on Irish Government to restore financial support for extension of A5 road route

first_imgSinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has welcomed the recent confirmation received by his party from the Department of Infrastructure in the north that construction work on the long-awaited Strabane to Newbuildings section of the A5 road route is due to commence in January.The Donegal TD is now calling on the Irish Government to reaffirm its commitment to the cross-border project and to now make available its share of the agreed funding package for the scheme which was previously deferred owing to the economic downturn.Deputy Doherty said: “I welcome the confirmation received by my party colleagues from the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure in the north which provides a definitive timeline for completion of the outstanding statutory obligations in respect of the A5 upgrade.“In his response, it’s stated that following the conclusion on this process, and notwithstanding the potential for any further legal challenges arising, then construction work on the Newbuildings to Strabane section of the route will likely get underway this January.“This is of course a major step in the right direction for this highly anticipated project as the development of A5 is not only vital to improve road safety, but it is crucial to the economic and social future of the entire region, both north and south.“Sinn Féin in the north ensured that the A5 was a key Programme for Government Priority, that £229 million was committed to the A5 as part of the Fresh Start Agreement, and of course included the re-instatement of €75m in contribution from the Irish government. “I understand that my colleague Declan McAleer MLA has last week written to Transport Minister Shane Ross to request a meeting to discuss how his government is planning to finally honour the commitment it made as part of the St Andrew’s Agreement back in 2006 to jointly co-fund the construction of the A5 project along with the Executive in the north.”“I intend to also raise this latest development with the Minister in the Dáil this week, and I will impress on him the need for him and his government colleagues to now fulfill its end of the agreement in respect of this major infrastructure project, the construction of which is in the economic and social interests of communities on both sides of the border.”TD calls on Irish Government to restore financial support for extension of A5 road route was last modified: October 25th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:A5motorwayPearse Dohertylast_img read more