PM speaks on Leaked Audit of PUC

Yesterday, we reported on the leaked audit on the Public Utilities Commission. The leaked document  occurred sometime early this week . It is a letter dated August 11 of 2017 addressed to John Avery, Chairman of  the PUC. The letter raises questions over $50,000 dollars in donations for which the auditor found no evidence of approval by the Commission and over $70,000 in credit card purchases that seemed to have no PUC relation, among other issues. Today, the media caught up with Prime Minister Barrow following the national Assembly and asked him about the audit. He says he has not received an audit on the PUC. vlcsnap-2013-11-11-11h52m21s147 vlcsnap-2018-01-09-11h02m58s152

Prime Minister, Dean Barrow:

a couple of months ago when the interest of full disclosure and ex-employee of the PUC provided me with a copy of an interim report. Spoke to Mr. Avery who said that he was in the process of answering or addressing all that I saw raised in that report. My understanding, from what he said on the news, is that he has done so and that he too is awaiting the final version which presumable well at least make reference to whatever explanation he gave in terms of what was raised that I saw in the preliminary report. I would certainly have to await sight of the final audit before I can determine a course of action.

PM Barrow says that while the law obliges PUC to submit a budget, it is really an autonomous body.

Prime Minister, Dean Barrow:

The law says that in terms of remediation salaries, allowances they are to receive those as I believe approved by the minister who in turn certainly are to take the budget of the PUC to the Minister of Finance. So they are to come to me eventually but it’s rooted through the PUC Minister. I am not the PUC minister. So I think that, with respect to regular salary, it is quite clear that they are to be approved. My point is ,though, that if they control the revenues that they get from fees they can clearly as an autonomous body find ways to spend those monies that it would appear, do not have to be approved by their minister and perhaps ultimately by the Minister of Finance. It’s a little murky and I would really want to wait to see the final audit and then try to get legal advice on the particular issues because they are two things involved, what was spent, how much was spent and on what the expenditures were? That’s number one and then number two, were the expenditures, all of the expenditures within the power of the PUC to make?

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