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Jul 13, 2009

CitCo says $25,000 not missing from City Hall

Story PictureWhen the Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced last Friday that he expected arrests at City Hall for financial irregularities that brought back to memory, allegations made before the last City Council Elections in March. According to the PM, Patrick Tillett, the Financial Director he appointed, had reported what he deemed to be some serious irregularities at City Hall. And while that sent tongues wagging, police are yet to make those charges and more than likely there won’t be any. That is if Mayor Zenaida Moya Flowers is right. The mayor called a news conference this afternoon and along with the City Administrator, Dr. Kiran Vanjani, and Director of Financial Services, Dwane Davis, she said the whole thing is one big misunderstanding and that there are no funds that are unaccounted for. Mayor Moya Flowers says she was never informed of any irregularities and in any case, there is a perfectly rational, however, unusual reason, for the close to twenty-five thousand dollars that Tillett says is missing for the month of April. This, she says, is a financial procedure called under-depositing.

Zenaida Moya, Belize City Mayor
“I was never informed about any statement of irregularities, either verbally or in writing that would be taken to the police by the Financial Controller, Mr. Patrick Tillett. Notwithstanding this, last week Tuesday, July seventh, 2009, I was informed that the city administrator was told by Mr. Tillett to present the supporting documents for the under-deposits for April 2009. most of these documents were furnished to him on the same Tuesday, July seventh, 2009. The rest were going to be presented to him last Friday July tenth, 2009 but he did not show up to work that particular day. This is even though our government auditor, Mr. Charles Flowers, had informed Mr. Davis late Thursday evening, July ninth, 2009 that he had until this coming Wednesday, July fifteenth, 2009 to present the supporting documents for the under-deposits for the period January 2009 to April 2009, which would have included the rest of the said April 2009 under-deposits. Please not that the rest of the supporting documents for under-deposits for April 2009 have since been provided to the Financial Controller and January 2009 to match 2009 documents will need to be retrieved from the government audit department as they are still in possession of these documents.”

Dwane Davis, Director, Financial Services, City Hall
“The way the under-deposit works, for example, the cashier everyday takes in cash. If for some reason the council needs to pay out monies, which on that day we cannot write a cheque, then that day we take it from the cash at the cashier. So at the end of the day, the cashier will total the cash; she will have so much. But it’s a sort of an automated system that is there, so that system says you should have collected so much. So the difference then between what the actual cash is and what the system says should be there, should be for the amount of money taken out to buy or pay for whatever and that’s what we term as under-deposit because we are saying, for example, you should deposit a thousand dollars because that’s what the system says but we are only depositing nine hundred dollars because that’s all the cash. We had taken out a hundred, so that hundred is termed as an under-deposit.”


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