Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review of the Choiseul Village Council holds the former Rep and Village Clerk accountable - Part 3

 "Choiseul on the move" continues to bring you this report unedited.

vii. Easter Economic Stimulus Package
We noticed that Central Government issued an amount of $100,000.00 to Council under the Easter
Economic Stimulus Programme, April 2009. Council deposited the funds into an account that was
opened at the Choiseul Cooperative Credit Union without the approval of the Accountant General.
According to the “Application for Deposit Account” form, there were three signatories  to the
account and these were as follows:
Elmira Joseph - Chairperson of Council
Williana St Rose - Clerk of Council
Henson Samuel - Member of Council
In addition, it is longstanding practice and the policy of the Ministry of Local Government, that
two signatories were needed on all disbursement vouchers/cheques, with Clerk of Council being
the compulsory signatory.
Page 156 of 190
An examination of relevant disbursement vouchers submitted by the Credit Union revealed that
only the signature of Clerk of Council appeared on the disbursement vouchers which the Credit
Union used as its authority to debit the account.
Further, there were two amounts totalling $6,000.00 (2,883.78 + 3,116.22) that were disbursed
from the account and transferred to another account at the Credit Union (A/C # 890) on 15
2009. We saw no authorisation from Council for these debits to the account.
In addition, according to documentation from Council all the funds were disbursed for works and
activities in connection with “Choiseul Beautification Programme” and the Supervisor for all
works under the Programme was Griffith Jn Baptiste. There was no evidence that Griffith Jn
Baptiste was a member or employee of Council. Investigations revealed that Griffith Jn Baptiste
was a member of the UWP Choiseul Constituency Group. Further, there is no evidence  that
Council sanctioned the works contracts that were issued to the various contractors under the
Programme neither did Chairperson of Council countersigned the payment request as required by
the Section 30 of the Local Authorities Ordinance, Chapter 239, Revised Laws of St. Lucia, 1957
Further still, the documentation revealed that one of the contractors under the Programme was
Dedan  Jn Baptiste. In fact the documentation revealed that works  for that contractor was
supervised and certified by Griffith Jn Baptiste and the said Contractor was paid an amount
$28,000.00. Investigations revealed that Contractor, Dedan Jn Baptiste and Supervisor, Griffith Jn
Baptiste was one and the same person (Griffith Dedan Christiani Jn Baptiste – N.I no. 122008)
(see Exhibit 63).

i. Value for Money – Procurement
a. Works Project
As alluded to elsewhere in this report, accounting officers or officers duly authorised to sign or
authorise payment instruments have a most important responsibility to ensure accuracy of every
detail in the said payment instrument before the payment instrument is approved, under the
provisions of Financial Regulation 72 (refer to page 53).
With the assistance of a qualified quantity surveyor from the Ministry of Physical Development,
Housing and Urban Renewal, we conducted a physical examination and cost estimation exercise
on works projects executed in the Constituency by Council for the period under review. The
Page 157 of 190
exercise revealed some significant differences between “estimated cost” and “amount paid”
pointing to wastage and possible fraud and embezzlement.
The instances of significant difference are outlined in the table below:
Project Name                        Name of Contractor        Estimated Cost             Amount Paid             Difference
Concrete Section of      Constance Charles          Could not locate           $22,263.00           $22,263.00
Compoyettee Road
Road Rehab  – Lower  Enthia St Brice                $3,405.00                      $15,050.00            $15,050.00           
Community Road &
Bridge at Delcer                Jimmy Haynes          $15,564.00            $32,000.00           $16,436.00
Kerb & Slipper Drain  –      Smith Peter            Could not locate     $12,400.00           $12,400.00
Mongouge West
Footpath at Da Bans/La Maze  Peter Phillip               $8,446.00             $23,300.00           $14,854.00
Concrete Road at Dierre Morne   Sylvester Regis           $40,490.76           $55,000.00          $14,509.44
Drains and Culverts at Ravineau     Sylvester Regis         Could not locate      $38,320.00         $38,320.00
Retaining Wall and Drain
at Sauzay                                      Valeria Herman        Could not locate     $35,000.00        $35,000.00 
Infrastructural Works on
Jetrine Playing Field                       Wally St Juste          $36,443.00             $45,000.00         $8.557.00
Drain & Slips at La Perle              Wally St.Juste            $6,461.00            $39,000.00             $32,539.00
Road Rehab – Gravel                    Enthia Brice               $3,405.00            $15,050.00             $11,645.00
b. Conflict of Interest – Bryan Charles
We noticed that Council issued a number of contracts to Bryan Charles during the time he served
as the Deputy Chairman of the Council. We can confirm that he was paid a total amount of
$33,008.03 during the period.
Page 158 of 190
This is a violation of the principle, that Members of Council should not use their power and
influence on Councils to further their personal interest.  

1 comment:

Boss Logix said...

It appears that some deliberate misinformation and mischief have been the forte of the investigators as regards to the paragraph about me.
The investigators claim that there is no record of me being a Councillor at the Council during the month off April. A calculated lie. I had been a member of Council from Februrary 1, 2009 until December 2011.
2: They claim that Griffith Jn Baptiste was the supervisor of the Easter Beautification Program: Another orchestrated lie. I, on no account was ever offered a job to supervise the said program. As to where this information came from is a mystery to me. Show me the records which states that if they can. Did that info come from the Clerk or Chairperson?
3: That i recieved a cheque for $28,000.00 as a contractor is true. However, I was instructed by the former Rep to cash the cheque and hand the amount over to him. Details of this I will withold for now until if necessary:
4. As to Griffith Jn Baptiste and Dedan Jn Baptiste being one and the same person is a fact. I have always known myself as Griffith Jn Baptiste. i have alwaays called myself Dedan since i noticed it as part of my name on my birth certificate. When the present administration upgraded their system in 1998 my name no longer appeared on my pay slip as Griffith Jn Baptiste but rather Dedan Christiani Griffith Jn Baptiste. Therefore my name could be read as Dedan C G Jn Baptiste.
To imply a fraudulent act on my part is again looking for a needle in a haystack.
I am in no way suprised that the investigators ably assisted by operatives of the Choiseul SLP branch would go at length to find something on me.
But like I've always said you can't find shit. Cause i know i was never part of any corruption:
Stand by that: My family's name and mine I dared to protect at all times.