It seems that veteran politician Ashton Ford was set up in announcing that expenditure reports for CEPEP for the years 2013 to 2015 were missing.
Ford, who just recently assumed the chairmanship of CEPEP made the allegations last Friday after a voice recording surfaced on social media between a Government Minister and a Member of Parliament discussing CEPEP contracts.
Didn’t Ford on his own, or on the advice of CEPEP, know that these records were placed in Parliament in 2016?
Former line Minister for CEPEP, Dr Roodal Moonilal, said the issue of missing documents was a known PNM trick to deny contractors monies owed to them.
Ford said there was no trace of the accounting information which amounted to $1.5 billion, on the company’s computer system. Ford said the records relate to the company’s expenses including payments to contractors and staff for that period.
However, Moonilal said the audited report for the period 2009-2014 could be found in the Parliamentary record of the Public Enterprise Committee.
Moonilal produced a document titled, “The public enterprise committee, second session of the 11th Parliament – examination of the audited accounts, balance sheets and other financial statements of the CEPEP company for the financial years 2009- 2014.”
He added, “Now this is a parliamentary report that deals with examining CEPEP audited financial accounts. Now you cannot have a document like this if you are missing information on $1.5 billion or so from CEPEP. If you missing information from contractors, all the records, you cannot have independent audited financial statements like these that went to the Parliament that the Parliament accepted.”
But Ford is not letting up. He added, “Where are the supporting documents to justify the cost because this a build up to the 2015 accounts and we can’t get the 2015 accounts because the system crashed and we can’t get it.”
Moonilal said CEPEP representatives had not told a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on December 7, 2016 that its audited accounts could not be found. He said that meeting dealt with the examination of audited accounts, balance sheets and other financial statements.
He added, “So this is just a guise to deny contractors monies being owed for projects done over the years.”
So, are the documents missing or not?
CEPEP REPORT 2013
CEPEP REPORT 2014
DR ROODAL MOONILAL