Is SARA living in a bubble?

first_imgDear Editor,Several media houses reported that “SARA was awaiting additional information from Teixeira on signing bonus complaint” or similar such words. All reported that this emanated from the Deputy Director of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), Heath-Retmeyer.For the record, I wrote three letters to the Director of SARA, Dr Clive Thomas, in 2018. I have had no dealings with the Deputy Director.In the first, dated April 16, 2018, l called on SARA to investigate a number of cases which l chronicled with regards to corruption, breach of the procurement laws and wastage of taxpayers’ monies and state resources: –1. The Public Health Ministry’s $620 million purchase of drugs and medical supplies without any recourse to the procurement process;2. The Public Health Ministry’s contract for the rental of the Sussex Street house as a pharmacy bond without resort to any procurement process;3. The construction of the Jubilee D’Urban Park facilities costing over $2 billion with no resort to public procurement. (The Auditor General to date cannot access required documents);4. The pre-feasibility study of a New Demerara Harbour Bridge in violation of the procurement laws (this matter was sent to the Public Procurement Commission and its report was sent to the Special Organised Crime Unit by me to bring criminal charges against the subject Minister and a copy was shared with SARA);5. The Petroleum Production Sharing Agreement with Exxon in 2016;6. The US$18 million signature bonus deposited in an interest-bearing foreign currency account in the Bank of Guyana and not deposited in the Consolidated Fund as required by the Constitution nor reflected in the country’s revenue;7. Breaches of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA) identified in the 2016 Auditor General ReportI received a reply from the Director of SARA, Dr Thomas, on April 19, 2018, in which he acknowledged “receipt of the complaints in your letter. SARA does not and cannot initiate investigations without first receiving a complaint such as yours….”I then responded in a 5-page letter dated April 21, 2018, in which l made additional complaints which “fall squarely in your remit: –1. The acquisition of a house and land in Bel Air Gardens, then State-owned, below market value at that time and with no recourse to any procurement process by the former Minister of Finance of the PNC Government and now second Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge of the APNU/AFC coalition.2. The PPP/C Government responded to the Burnham family’s request for land and issued 5 acres of prime land in Georgetown at no costs to former Vice President and First Lady Viola Burnham and widow of President Forbes Burnham in D’Urban Backlands.3. The acquisition of a huge tract of land to the People’s National Congress for their party headquarters, Congress Place, in Sophia, at no cost and where sections have been sold over the years at market value and for profit, the most recent sale took place after the 2015 General and Regional Elections.As such, l am now formally laying my complaint with reference to the cases regarding corruption, abuse in public office and violation of the Constitution, Procurement Act, and financial laws listed in my letter dated April 16, 2018, and those listed above and call on SARA to investigate them.The most egregious case relates to the sale of our national patrimony in oil and natural gas well below what is observed internationally and “relatively favourable to investors by international standards,” as stated in the International Monetary Fund report prepared for Guyanese officials. Follow the trail Dr Thomas, you will find the answers and the accounts of those who benefitted.In closing, l note your statement that “the goal is to repel procurement fraud, stolen state assets, corruption so that Guyanese of all walks of life can be assured their roads, national patrimony, gold and other state assets [which] are used for the betterment of all Guyanese”. In other words, all the cases l brought to your attention in my first letter and this follow-up falls into that stated goal.On June 5, 2018, Dr Thomas responded to my April 16, 2018, letter in which he listed 6 of the 7 cases l referred to, excluding the US$18 million signature bonus requesting “that any evidence which you might have in relation to any unlawful conduct in this matter be forwarded to us to aid in our consideration and investigation”.I then responded on June 15, 2018, to Dr Thomas advising that the information l referred to in my letters were all publicly available. Further, l advised Dr Thomas where he could find the information with regards to each case. (I have attached a copy of this letter to Dr Thomas)That was the last l heard from the Director of SARA, Dr Thomas, or anyone from SARA until l saw Heath-Retmeyer’s comment today.What information is SARA waiting on with regards to the US$18 million signature bonus? The letter from the Finance Ministry to the Bank of Guyana advising it to deposit the US$18 million in an interest-bearing foreign currency account was published in the media in December 2017, a year after the Government received the money. The US$18 million has, to date, not been deposited in the Consolidated Fund, despite the matter being raised in National Assembly on several occasions and in the media on numerous occasions.Is SARA living in a bubble? An expensive bubble for the Guyanese taxpayers with budgetary provisions of $260 million in 2018 and $285 million in 2019, yet the Deputy Director wants to give the public the impression that SARA cannot investigate unless l, the complainant, provide more information on the US$18 million? This is his response on a serious violation of the Constitution?!What a pathetic whimper from SARA!Maybe SARA should first “clean up” its own act. The Act was assented to on May 4, 2017, more than two years ago, yet a Director has not been appointed and approved by the National Assembly within the 4 months of the commencement of the Act. Or does SARA need a complaint to be filed and additional information on this matter too?Sincerely,Gail Teixeiralast_img read more

KERRY AWAIT DONEGAL (OR DUBLIN) IN FINAL

first_imgKERRY are through to the All Ireland Final after an extra time win over Mayo at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.The final score was 3-16 to 3-13.  KERRY AWAIT DONEGAL (OR DUBLIN) IN FINAL was last modified: August 30th, 2014 by John2Share 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)last_img

GAA NEWS: LETTERKENNY GAELS U12 HURLERS EARN BRILLIANT WIN OVER CARNDONAGH

first_imgLetterkenny Gaels GAA News:The senior footballers have no game this weekend & will be back in action next weekend.Well done to the young hurlers from our U-12 team who had a victory over Carndonagh last Thursday.  Our Camogie girls attended a blitz at na Magha on Saturday. The blitz was organised to celebrate the Derry club’s 10 year anniversary. Well done to all who took part and special thanks to Sharon & all at na Magha for their hospitality.Our minor lads travelled to Glenfin on Monday evening and although they were in the game until halftime the physically stronger opposition won out in the end.There are still remaining places on the ‘Come Play Camogie’ 3 day camp which runs from 22nd-24th of July. Contact Aideen on (086) 816 3605 for more details.Bookings are now being taken for the Kellogg’s Cúl Camp which takes place from the 27th to 31st of July.See club Facebook for more details. Any business interested in getting a pitch side ad should contact Dan on (086) 739 2780 for more details.Underage football coaching continues at 11am every Sunday (U-6, U-8 & U-10’s) and Wednesday (U-8 & U-10) at 7pm at Pairc na nGael. New members welcome.Camogie training continues at the pitch on Mondays from 6-7pm for U-14 and older girls and Fridays from 6.30-8pm at the pitch for U-8, U-10 & U-12. Contact 086 8163605 for information. New players welcome. Please check club website and Gaels Camogie Facebook for more info.Hurling training continues at Pairc na nGael every Thursday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30 pm. Please contact Dan Harnett 0867392780 or Sharon Harnett 0868405785 to book or for more information. New members always welcome.For regular club updates and photos see our club web page, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @LetterkennyGaelGAA NEWS: LETTERKENNY GAELS U12 HURLERS EARN BRILLIANT WIN OVER CARNDONAGH was last modified: July 15th, 2015 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:GAALetterkenny GaelsNoticesSportlast_img read more

TWO FINGERED SALUTE WOMAN: ‘SHE’S NOT A MEMBER OF FINE GAEL’ INSISTS PARTY

first_imgA WOMAN gave a two-fingered salute to anti-austerity protestors from Co Donegal at the weekend is NOT a member of Fine Gael, the party insisted today.Buncrana woman Caroline McGonagle, who was among protestors at the Ard Fheis in Dublin, told donegaldaily.com yesterday that she had heard about someone giving the protestors the fingers on Saturday at the Ard Fheis.However Fine Gael said today that they had “no idea who the woman in the picture is” and said they weren’t sure “that this picture was even taken last Saturday.” Meanwhile Minister of State Roisin Shortall admitted on RTE the new household tax “was far from ideal as a system and far from ideal how it was handled”.Deputy Shortall dismissed suggestions it had been a “complete disaster” saying it had proved “problematic”.It is estimated that around half of all eligible households have not paid the charge.As of this afternoon a total of 829,312 people had registered to pay the charge, including waiver applicants. That is an increase of 25,000 on Saturday’s figure. However, no campaigners continue to dispute a figure of 1.6m households being eligible, claiming it is closer to 1.8m.That would mean one million households haven’t paid. TWO FINGERED SALUTE WOMAN: ‘SHE’S NOT A MEMBER OF FINE GAEL’ INSISTS PARTY was last modified: April 3rd, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:REVEALED: THE FINE GAEL DELEGATE WHO GAVE TWO-FINGERED SALUTE TO DONEGAL PROTESTORSlast_img read more

Hands Selected Summit League Men’s Tennis Academic All-League Team

first_imgTo be selected to the league’s academic all-league teams, student-athletes must: maintain a 3.3 cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale; complete at least one full year (two semesters, three quarters) at their current institutions; and participate in 50 percent of their team’s completed competitions.   ELMHURST, Ill. – Drake University’s Tom Hands was named Summit League Men’s Tennis Academic All-League Team, announced by the league office. Hands, an All-Summit selection this season, is an environmental science major with a 3.67 GPA. He helped the Bulldogs to a perfect 7-0 league record and the program’s first Summit League Championship title with his 22-13 overall season singles record. Hands also earned a singles win in Drake’s 4-2 setback to Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last week.center_img  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more