Augustine must release audit report to the public says Dumas

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Augustine must release audit report to the public says Dumas

Retired head of the public service Reginald Dumas said Chief Secretary Farley Augustine should make the audit report public.

At Thursday’s plenary sitting in the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough, Augustine said the report of the audit into five initiatives undertaken during the term of the former PNM-led THA administration had been completed. He ordered the audit in January 2022.

Augustine said information on offences identified in the report has been sent to the Commissioner of Police, Fraud Squad, Financial Intelligence Unit, Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau and the Director of Public Prosecutions, but he added, it will not be made available to the Prime Minister and Minority Leader.

Dumas, in a Newsday interview, said: “These audits were paid for with public money, and I cannot logically understand how the results of the audit can be concealed from the public, which paid for them.”

“There is also the governance point of view, and I am finding it a little difficult to wrap my head around this.”

He also feared the public money spent on the audit could also be perceived as being used in the interest of the political advancement of a particular party.

“That is the same principle that had come up in the audio tape controversy as to how public money would be used.”

He was referring to a recording in which two people said to be THA officials discussed spending public funds on party propaganda, to be spread via social media.

He said he would like to hear the public’s view on this issue.