…Reminds that AG Nandlall also received gifts
Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon has told the People’s Progressive Party not to “change clothes if you live in a glasshouse,” in relation to the charges laid against APNU/AFC parliamentarian and former Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson and former General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation, Rawlston Adam.
The duo was charged for conspiracy to defraud the nation and was placed on $200,000 bail each.
The two are also embroiled in another controversy, for expensive receiving gifts at the expense of taxpayers.
Patterson received gifts and other personal items totalling $2.64M from the various agencies, whilst sitting as the Minister of Public Infrastructure.
Public Works Minister exposed that Patterson received a gift from MARAD costing $384, 700 from King’s Jewellery World for his birthday.
Last year, MARAD further approved $704,292 for gifts for his birthday.
He also received gifts from the Transport and Harbours Department, the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC) and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority.
However, Harmon was in staunch defence of Paterson today.
He affirmed that the Auditor General Report as of December 31, 2010, proved that there were $14.5B in unaccounted gifts under the PPP/C regime. He further pointed out that the current Attorney General Anil Nandlall received $2.5M in gifts he claimed was given to him by the government.
Nandlall received the large sum worth in Law books and had said was given by the then President of the country, Donald Ramotar.
However, the Leader of the opposition is defending Patterson, despite the purchasing and acceptance of gifts amounts to a breach of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA).
Harmon is presumed to know of this breach, as the Ministry of Finance back in 2018, whilst he was the Minister of State, sent out a Circular stating that “gifts and merchandise related to occasion specific or ministry-specific paraphernalia and gifts must be reduced.”
Then later that year, another Circular was sent out after many budgetary agencies were not heeding to the first notice. The second Circular reminded that “there shall be no expenditure of public monies except in accordance with article 217 of the Constitution.
As such, the FMAA was breached for the purchases for Patterson and notwithstanding this, the Leader of the Opposition is defending Patterson’s receipt of gifts.