State Minister condemns “mischievous” Guyana Times article

DPI, Guyana, Friday, December 15, 2017

Minister of State Joseph Harmon has labelled as “mischievous” an article published today in the Guyana Times Newspaper titled “For Ministry of the Presidency $100 million allocated for bulletproof vehicles purchased on credit: government roasted for alleged breach of accountability.”

Minister of State Joseph Harmon addressing the National Assembly today

Minister Harmon said the article is at best mischievous and seeks to insinuate the existence of corrupt practices devoid of accountability and transparency as reported by Member of Parliament Juan Edghill, who is currently on suspension.

“Permit me to state unequivocally that such a statement is erroneous and misleading… at no time since this government came into office after the May 2015 elections was the ministry allocated $100 million for the purchase of vehicles,” Minister Harmon said.

He said the facts, which can be confirmed by the Ministry of Finance will show that that Ministry of the Presidency had in fact inherited a fleet of vehicles from the former administration including those used in the presidential fleet. He said on more than one occasion, the VIP cars both in the Presidential and Prime Minister’s fleet developed mechanical problems.

“The Administration took a firm decision to phase out the old and aged vehicles over a period of time, in addition to purchasing reconditioned and/or new VIP vehicles to complement the President’s fleet and to be used exclusively for state visits of other Heads of States.”

Minister Harmon said vehicles purchased with the 2016 budgetary allocation have been delivered and are in the possession of the Ministry of the Presidency. He pointed out that those vehicles are in no way bullet proof, as stated in the article. Of the $58,800,000 million allocated for land transport in 2016, $53, 583,810 was spent.

The 2017 allocation of $22,500,000 saw only $21,553,064 being expended.

By: Alexis Rodney

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