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Nov 27, 2009

Day 2 of K.H.M.H. Commission of Inquiry

Story PictureToday was day two of the public hearings in the Commission of Inquiry into the purchasing of medical and pharmaceutical supplies at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. More startling information came from an audited report that point to a general breakdown in the purchasing practices of the K.H.M.H., including the revelation of missing records. In fact, the wrap-up testimony of Deputy Auditor General, Wayne Simon, disclosed the loopholes in the system. Simon gave the media a synopsis at the end of his testimony.

Wayne Simon, Deputy Auditor General
“They were making a lot of purchases on the retail market although the records reflected that the quick book balances – the software used by K.H.M.H. and by B.H.I. system used by C.M.S. had available balances. If there were available balances or amounts in those systems, why would you go and make purchase on the retail market and make purchases at higher prices? It surely is an irregularity because when you go and make purchases at higher prices it costs the Government of Belize a considerable amount of funds while you could have saved if you had gotten it from C.M.S. We did a thorough job and we got our information from the records so we stand by what we have in there.”

Keith Swift, Channel 7
“Is there any evidence that suggests that this was systematic corruption, well-planned, colluded?”

Wayne Simon
“No we did not find any evidence of that, we just reviewed the records and our findings are written in the report concerning those records so to say there was corruption between contractors and officers within the place we did not find any evidence to support that.”

Marion Ali
“Did anybody from management explain why it was that some suppliers were over-paid?”

Wayne Simon
“What we need to understand is that when suppliers contract with government they would give you their prices at a lower price. Now you have to look at the supply and demand factor and if you go outside and purchase outside of the contract price those suppliers will definitely charge you a higher price, that’s business.”

Marion Ali
“But that’s not correct is it?”

Wayne Simon
“It is not correct but that’s the way it happened during our investigation.”

Simon says the Commission, headed by Justice Adolph Lucas, will decide whether crimes were committed.

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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