- Thursday, 21 June 2012 12:03
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) – The audit on government contracts awarded during the emergency period of former Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive following the earthquake of 2010 continues into the new government of PM Laurent Lamothe. As suggested by the audit commission established by former PM Garry Conille, 41 contracts will be held for review and more than a dozen others will be investigated on their effectiveness.
All of the contracts are being financed with the long-term, low-interest loan from Venezuela through the 2007 PetroCaribe agreement. These funds have been the topic of controversy and suspicion as to their use.
But according to Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, in a televised meeting of the Haitian Council of Ministers, PetroCaribe is one of the more better budgeted accounts of the government.
Council of Ministers
06.20.12 | TNH/martellytv
”…for me, I believe these funds [PetroCaribe] are funds that are well managed, that have the most transparency and give the most results… and is very well budgeted; it is in the budget.”
”Every dollar that is spent from the PetroCaribe fund is budgeted…”
”Here and now there are people who may come and say X, Y or Z but the reality is, there is not one dollar in the PetroCaribe fund that is spent and is not budgeted.” – Laurent Lamothe, Prime Minister
The concerns which initiated the audit by former Prime Minister Garry Conille, were that contracts for government projects, of funds from the PetroCaribe account, were signed under dubious circumstances and to questionable companies by his predecessor, former Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. Indeed, the audit commission found this to be the case.
Prime Minister Lamothe would agree with the audit of Conille and would want to investigate further. The concern of the Haitian government remains if the contracts are legitimate but more so if their projects are being completed.
”On the management of the money, I know that this is being done with regularity. But on the question of the management of the projects, I believe this can be reinforced.”
“I think we can form a mixed commission on the management of the projects so that we can know.”
”For example, when we look at the construction of the public market in Jacmel. We see that it has been since May 2011 that the money was disbursed and we have only 53% of the job done. We gave $900,000.00 and there is $400,000.00 that I just approved but has not yet been given.”
”The construction of the public market in Cariere, it’s the same thing…” – Laurent Lamothe, Prime Minister
For 41 contracts, of a total amounting to $315 million [US], whose monies had not been disbursed a stop-payment was ordered to review the contracts and companies to which they were assigned to.
For a dozen-and-a-half other contracts, of a total amounting to a near $500 million [US], of which some disbursements were made, a more stringent review will be undertaken.
The findings on both groups of contracts will be forwarded to the Haitian Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes (CSCCA) for a final opinion and review of their legality.