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Jan 20, 2020

Auditor General’s Reports Spark Debate on Adjournment

Precipitating the harsh criticisms levied against the Barrow administration on adjournment at Friday’s house meeting was a pair of audit reports presented to PM Barrow back in October.  The results of separate financial reviews for Julian Cho Technical High School and the National Sports Council were submitted by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley after carefully going over the expenditures of both institutions.  It was discovered that in both instances there were a number of irregularities, as well as dubious cash transactions.  In presenting the reports to the House of Representatives, the prime minister reiterated that the documents will also be forwarded to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams for action to be taken against those who are found to be culpable of criminal wrongdoing at the Sports Council.  He stopped short, however, of seeking similar action against those named in the Julian Cho scandal.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Report of the Auditor General, audit of the Julian Cho Technical High School, Ministry of Education, for the period April 1st, 2014 to September 2016.  HR237B/1/12 Report of the Auditor General, Audit of the National Sports Council, Ministry of Education, for the period April 2015 to March 31st, 2016.  HR237C/1/12 Central Bank of Belize estimates of revenue and expenditure for fiscal year 2020.  While Mr. Speaker, these papers are only being laid and there is no debate, I do want to say something in respect, particularly of the report of the Auditor General, regarding the audit of the National Sports Council, just to repeat what I said in my press conference.  That audit report needs to go to the Commissioner of Police who I expect will consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions and I would imagine that action by way of criminal prosecutions will take place in the instances where the authorities, the commissioner and the DPP decide that the material sustains criminal Prosecutions.  There is one other matter concerning the then Deputy Minister of Sports.  Again, the report will go to the Public Accounts Committee but I do want to say that to the extent that there is an allegation of, as it seems to me, a violation of ethics, conflict of interest, since that deputy minister is not any longer in government, as a minister, but is the Consul General of Belize in New York, he will certainly have to meet with me and offer me, as natural justice requires, his explanation with respect to what the Auditor General says and I simply want to assure this house that I will act on the basis of what is in that report. Thank you.”

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