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By Rupert Hopkinson
In responding to an Audit query, I advised the current REO, Region 2 to point out at PAC that the prevailing approach to Budgeting leads to questionable actions in all Regions. My “statement of fact” was proved yesterday, June 6, 2022 at the PAC Hearings!
BUDGETING should be seen as a structured plan to spend. In requesting budgetary allocations we must provide Estimates or Bill of Quantities, as a basis for the funds requested, not guesstimates, (estimates made without providing adequate information). This has become “custom and practice” in the Regions.
When these “Budget Estimates” are passed in Parliament, the Regional Engineers thereafter prepare the Bill of Quantities – A case of putting the cart before the horse!
But, the Heads of Budget Agencies have to wait before invitations to bid can be advertised. This provides a “Nest” for breaches and wasting of resources.
It was not surprising that Region 2 officials, in trying to exonerate themselves at the PAC hearings made false claims. We had an example of that “Nest” at PAC.
This is not the first time the very officials falsely verified the completion of a project and forwarded the document for my signature. These very officials were previously caught and the money was repaid (evidence available).
I have records also to show that the very Engineer, whose transfer I requested in writing tried to circumvent the procurement process by preparing NO “Bills”, only Engineer’s estimates for about ten different projects while I was on leave. (Letter to Auditor General and others attached for verification).
A final note: As Ministerial Advisor I wrote Minister Bulkan the following:
“I have a strong opinion that the process which leads to project implementation is highly flawed. I would like to discuss with you some possible solutions. (letter attached for editor’s to verify).
The PAC has been advised that I am out of the Jurisdiction, but is available to make
comments virtually. They know how to contact me. The PS, and the current REO, Region 2 were also provided with this information.