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Dec 10, 2014

K.H.M.H. Audit Reveals More Irregularities

A special audit of the K.H.M.H. requested by the Board of Governors of that institution has revealed many irregularities in the purchase, procurement and payment of two X-ray units. Those irregularities were, according to the report, perpetrated by the then senior management of the hospital, without the knowledge of the Board of Governors. Two major players during that period, Director of Financial Services Carlos Perera and C.E.O. Gary Longsworth, were let go earlier this year, but the Board still wants answers, a resolution to the matter and, if necessary, legal action against persons named. Mike Rudon has been following the situation and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Following the findings of the K.H.M.H. Special Audit, the Board of Governors met on November thirteenth and that was a topic of discussion. But four members were absent so the matter was deferred. For K.H.M.H. Chair Chandra Nibet-Cansino, the matter cannot be taken lightly and she will not get into specifics without a comprehensive Board discussion. But while she could not speak on behalf of the Board, she certainly could, and did speak to us generally as Chair of the Board of Governors.

 

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

Via Phone: Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, Chair, Board of Governors, K.H.M.H.

“I am very disappointed in the findings, disappointed with how some of the procedures were carried out by the senior management staff at the K.H.M.H. I can also say that administrative action has been taken or has been done in regards to some of the persons that were called out in the audit report. We are satisfied in that regard, but whether or not further action would be warranted is a decision that would more than likely have to be recommended by the solicitor-General, to whom I think we will hand a copy of the report for his recommendation.”

 

The audit was requested because the Board suspected irregularities surrounding the purchase of two X-ray machines for the K.H.M.H.  The larger X-ray unit, purchased for around half a million dollars and delivered six months ago, is still not functional. Cansino says they are currently making the effort to get it connected and operational. According to the Audit, the other smaller unit had some problems but they managed to get it working. And while the institution struggles with those practical matters, there is still a claim being made by Orange Walk S.P. Group that the K.H.M.H. owes them money.

 

Carlos Perera

Via Phone: Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

“The present C.E.O., Dr. Coye, is looking into addressing the relationship between S.P. and the Karl Heusner at this time because indeed they claim that payments are owed and we need to finalize what we owe or don’t owe and be able to put an end to all of this.”

 

The audit is a comprehensive seventy-seven page document which makes repeated mention of breaching of protocols, and of irregularities allegedly orchestrated by the former Director of Financial Services Carlos Perera and other senior staff. Though not specifically stated in so many words, there is also a clear insinuation that monies may have been misappropriated in the dealings with S.P. Group and the elusive Spring Holdings.

 

Via Phone: Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

“That has been alluded to in some of the Auditor-General’s findings yes, but like I said we need the input from everybody to come to that conclusion to be able to say well this is what the entire Board…because the Board brings a variety of expertise into the conversation. We have persons with financial background o the Board…actually that particular person was not present (at the last meeting) and we definitely would rely on the input of that person and so I would really prefer to have a full discussion with the Board before I answer to any details of the audit.”

 

The audit makes clear that there was some question of the relationship between the S.P. Group, Spring Holdings based in Hong Kong and the then management team of the K.H.M.H.  Those players, including former DFS Carlos Perera and former C.E.O. Gary Longsworth, did not have the authority to enter into any financial arrangement with the S.P. Group. That’s one. Additionally, while department heads were led to believe that the machines were purchased new, they aren’t. That’s two. They were delivered without any documentation or warranty, and since then the KHMH has been unable to get any documentation on the apparent dubious machines, procured through a dubious transaction. DFS Perera and C.E.O. Longsworth have been removed from the KHMH equation, and Cansino says they have put appropriate measure in place since the audit came out.

 

Carlos Perera & Gary Longsworth

Via Phone: Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

“A lot of changes…a lot of changes have been made, and that includes movement of staff. We have a new Director of Financial Services hired at the KHMH at this time. He has been working very arduously to ensure that a lot of these loopholes are addressed and definitely the Board has made some specific recommendations regarding what should get to the Board and what should not come to the Board and we have the full support of Dr. Adrian Coye in this regard. So yes, a lot of changes have been made since this audit report, in a very short period of time.”

 

The Board will meet on Thursday, December eleventh, when it is believed that the matter will be aired in some detail. It is expected that a statement will be released following that meeting. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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