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Aug 28, 2018

Allegations of Mismanagement at Sugar Industry Control Board

Chairman of the Sugar Cane Production Committee, Doctor Carlos Itza, is speaking out against what he describes as mismanagement at the Sugar Industry Control Board.  Doctor Itza is calling into the question the financial status of the S.I.C.B.  This is not the first time that concerns over the board’s finances have been raised.  In February of this year, a letter was sent to Chairman Gabriel Martinez by the three cane farmers associations and Cane Farmers Relations Manager for A.S.R./B.S.I., Olivia Avilez.  In that letter, Martinez is told that the stakeholders are concerns about the present financial situation at the Sugar Cane Production Committee.  At that time, financial disbursements were made to the S.I.C.B. from the Sugar Industry Development Fund, for which a budget was not presented or approved by the board.  In December 2017, Doctor Itza wrote to the Minister of Agriculture, Senator Godwin Hulse, detailing his concerns over S.I.C.B.’s financial status.  He says he has not received a response. Since the beginning over the year, Doctor Itza has written several emails to Minister Hulse, C.E.O. Jose Alpuche and other members of the S.I.C.B. expressing his concerns, but he says their reaction to the issues raised is less than fitting. This is why he stopped by our studios with the hopes to inform the cane farmers about something they should be concern about.

 

Carlos Itza

Dr. Carlos Itza, Chairman, Sugar Cane Production Committee

“Over the past years I have been very vocal at the Sugar Industry Control Board, that this body needs to have proper meetings, proper expenditure reports, financial reports, annual reports and also a proper work plan in order to guide the work of the sugar sector. What I have found out is that all of this has not been conducted in the past two years. But my concern is more that I have been reporting about mismanagement happening at the sugar board constantly and over the past month it have been intensifying. So I have seen a lot of decision now being done in order to terminate me. The Sugar Industry Control Board over the past two years has not been audited. That is a concern to me and then I started to question the reasons. I requested an expenditure report and I found out that there was no expenditure report. So when I went and questioned the finance officer as to why, she has directive not to produce any of those reports. So I went and dug deeper. I went to query at the bank and the bank told me that because I am not a signatory to those accounts some of the information cannot be provided. So I started to find mechanism to find out what is happening. I have a concern because now I have not authorized any payments over the five months and they are still spending all the monies within the SCPC.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Sir you have proof of this?”

 

Dr. Carlos Itza

“Yes, I have proof of this and I am willing to share it also.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“And you have confronted the Chairman with these reports, concerns that you have?”

 

Dr. Carlos Itza

“I have confronted the chairman over this. In fact there was a meeting of the SICB, clearing outlining who should be signing and I have minutes of that minutes also where it clearly establish what suppose to happen. It has not been implemented.”

 

News Five sought comment from S.I.C.B.’s Chairman, Gabriel Martinez but up to news time we have not received a response.

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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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