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…urges stay in move to pursue with criminal probe
Two days after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament of Guyana ordered that a criminal investigation be launched into a 2018 Contract that saw payments being made in full long before the project was completed, Dannie Ramdolar, the Civil Engineer, who was responsible for the project at the time, has not only apologised to the PAC but has asked that the decision to proceed with the criminal probe be reviewed.
The former government engineer formed part of a team from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which appeared before the PAC on Monday (April 25) at the Public Buildings, and was grilled on a number of findings featured in the Auditor General Reports of 2017 and 2018, among which was the issuance of full payment on a $4.6M contract for the renovation of a self-acting sluice at Western Section, Lusignan, long before the project was completed.
But though there were clear breaches, Ramdolar maintained that there was none. Given his failure to offer a satisfactory response, Members of Parliament, Juan Edghill and Ganesh Mahipaul recommended that the matter be handed over to the Guyana Police Force for the initiation of a criminal investigation.
Days later, in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the PAC, Jermaine Figueira, MP and its Members, Ramdolar apologized for his conduct, and asked that the Committee’s decision to proceed with a criminal investigation be reviewed.
“I was out of order and there is no excuse for my action,” the former government engineer wrote in the letter dated April 27.
According to Ramdolar, the matter has caused him undue stress and public embarrassment. “…after a careful reflection I should have requested of the committee to afford me time to meet with the Auditor General’s Office and Ministry of Home Affairs to review the paragraph upon which there are different information,” he told the PAC in the letter.
Ramdolar further asked the PAC to review its decision to conduct a criminal investigation and allow him the opportunity to meet with the AG’s office and Home Affairs Ministry to clarify the paragraph on the controversial move.
It is anticipated that during the next meeting of the PAC, Ramdolar’s letter would be discussed in full and a decision made on the way forward.