Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review of Choiseul Village Council Holds Former Rep and Village Clerk Accountable - Part 4

This part deals with the Moroccan Funds that was slated for the construction of the Mini Stadium
".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. 
ii. Alleged Misappropriation of Moroccan Funds
The  Choiseul Village Council received via wire transfer on the 5th October 2010, from the
Morocco government the sum of Eight Hundred and Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy
Eight Dollars and Thirty Eight Cents ($806,378.38) for the purpose of constructing a mini stadium
at La Fargue. These monies were deposited in BOSL Account No.901215802, the same account
in which funds from the Taiwanese Government was deposited.
According to records at the Council and further confirmation by Clerk of Council, a total amount
of forty-four thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars ($44,750.00) has already been spent for
topographic survey, architectural, civil and structural engineering fees. Consequently, there should
be a balance of Seven Hundred and Sixty-one Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty-eight Dollars
and Thirty-eight Cents ($761,628.38) of Moroccan Funds on the bank account.
It was duly noted that the balance on the said bank account as at 31st December 2011 was only
five hundred and fifty-nine thousand, four hundred and ninety-six dollars and four cents
($559,496.04). If the balance is only Moroccan funds there is a difference of two hundred and two
thousand one hundred and thirty-two dollars and thirty-four cents ($202,132.34).
This shows that an amount of two hundred and two thousand one hundred and thirty-two dollars
and thirty-four cents ($202,132.34) was spent from the Morocco funds for purposes other than
“Construction of the Mini Stadium at La Fargue”.
This discrepancy will affect the future implementation of the project as funds will have to come
from other sources to enable successful implementation. 
iii. Failure to Account for Foreign Currency Grants
Regulation 48 of the Financial Regulations – Section 54, Finance (Administration) Act, Revised
Laws of St. Lucia, 2005 stipulates the following:
Whenever an officer or a person other than the Accountant General, a subaccountant or a collector of revenue receives public money he or she shall as
soon as possible pay it to the Accountant General or a sub-accountant or a
collector of revenue and obtain a receipt for it.
Page 159 of 190
According to records at the Council and confirmed by Clerk-of-Council, Council received the
following amounts from Former Parliamentary Representative, Rufus Bousquet, in the form of
foreign-currency cheques during 2011:

Date                             Name of Drawer                                  Cheque No.                            Amount
20/01/2011           United Nations                                       1036292                           $US 10,000.00
                             Federal  Credit Union
 11/02/2011         United Nations                                        1037086                          $US 10,000.00
                            Federal  Credit Union
19/04/2011          United Nations                                        1039359                            $US 7,500.00
                            Federal  Credit Union
14/06/2011         Consulate General of                          Credit Transfer (18978)           $US 28,000.00
                           the Republic of Kosovo
                            in New York
Total                                                                                                                              $US 55,500.00
When we interviewed Clerk of Council on that matter, she explained that all the foreign currency
cheques  were  received and  deposited in the  BOSL  bank  account  (# 901215802)  by Former
Parliamentary Representative and Former Minister of External Affairs, Rufus Bousquet. She was
only informed of receipt of the funds by the Former Parliamentary Representative and that the
Former Parliamentary Representative never revealed the source of the funds to her.
However, examination of electronic copies of relevant deposit slips submitted by BOSL revealed
that US cheques 1036292, 1037086, 1039359  and 18978 were deposited by Clerk of Council,
Williana St Rose and not Former Parliamentary Representative and Former Minister of External
Affairs, Rufus Bousquet.
We examined relevant bank statements to ensure that these funds were indeed deposited in the said
bank account. We were able to trace all the foreign currency cheque deposits in the bank account
except cheque no.18978 dated 28/06/2011 for $US28,000.00. However, we noticed a credit was
made to the account in the form of a “credit advice” on 12/09/2011. The “credit advice” was in the
amount of $75,219.60, $50.00 (bank charges) below the Eastern Caribbean Dollar equivalent of
$US28,000.00. We note that proceeds of the said cheque was credited to the Council’s bank
account, seventy-three (73) days after the foreign currency cheque  was reported to have been
Page 160 of 190
These foreign currency cheques were never paid into the Accountant General as required by the
Financial Regulations and all the amounts mentioned above were fully disbursed as part of total
disbursements made from the bank account of the Council for the period. In addition, the source
of the funds as it pertains to the cheques from the United Nations Federal Credit Union is still
remains unknown.
The above is a clear violation of Financial Regulations 48 and poises serious questions about the
integrity of source of funds." 

Check for the Recommendations on Saturday.
Editor's note: Pics of Morocco's Foreign Minister and building of the United Nations Federal Credit Union are not part of the review.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mama mouton blanc. So what now with our mini stadium. This reminds me of alll the posts Gilo wrote making noise about the stadium funds. The man knew what he was talking about. And by the way i believe Dedan's explanation in yesterday's post.