Local Gov’t Ministry to seek feedback on SLED probe
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall plans to engage the Office of the Auditor General on the status of the investigation into the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) programme.
The Ministry initiated the probe in December 2020, after the 2019 Auditor General’s Report revealed that $250 million issued to Region Nine could not be accounted for.
“It is our intention to prosecute those culpable because it is a lot of money and as far as we are aware, there is no evidence on how those resources were expended, what types of projects, what types of implementation modalities, what types of impact… absolutely nothing,” he told the Department of Public Information.
Minister Dharamlall said his ministry has made adjustments to the projects which is now goal-oriented, fostering sustainable development plans as well as strategies for socio-economic development and empowerment.
“Since there was no evidence of how it was implemented before … we have put a structure in place. We have institutionalised modalities, monitoring mechanism and assessment arrangements in place to determine impact as well as an evaluation of the possible outcomes that were supposed to be achieved,” he added.
He also said the Ministry hopes that results of the investigation would be available soon so that it could proceed with its plan of action.
The Ministry aims to develop certain aspects of community life to generate income and diversify the regional economy via decentralising investment. This will allow for region-specific investments that factor in every Region’s dynamics.
SLED was introduced in 2015 to foster opportunities for young people to form cooperatives and establish business ventures and partnerships to become self-sufficient.
Provisions were also made to allow them to liaise with the Institute of Applied Science and Technology and the Guyana School of Agriculture for technical assistance. The Ministry allocated some $105 million to SLED in the 2020 Emergency Budget.