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Jan 28, 2010

City Council audits show high fuel bills for redundant departments

The special audit inspection into the affairs of the Belize City Council for the period of April 2003 to December 2008 looks specifically at the council’s maintenance of its accounting records and documents.  There are many questionable transactions revealed in the report that is making its rounds in the media. A review of the fuel expenditure shows that a total of one hundred forty-seven thousand eight hundred and nine dollars was expended between October 2006 and March 2007; over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars spent from April 2007 to March 2008 and two hundred and eighty two thousand six hundred and twenty nine dollars for April 2008 to December 2008.  During the three year period a little less than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars was spent on fuel by the Works department alone.  That’s a lot of money for a department that, according to the report, is none functional.  Another questionable fuel bill is the one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars spent on the Sanitation Department.  If you recall, the council has contracts with both Belize Maintenance Limited and Belize Waste Control Limited for garbage collection, in addition to several individuals who were paid for rental of their vehicles for garbage collection.  The report specifically asks ‘What types of works/jobs were performed that required the amount of fuel utilized by these departments?” The stink on the fuel bills rise to the highest office of City Hall.  It’s no secret now that the council has been scathed by the under depositing scandal. The mayor, Zenaida Moya Flowers has been charged with twenty two counts of ‘Uttering a false document’ in relation to fuel bills at a gas station.  That case is still before the courts. But another person who will have a few questions to answer to is Sharon Wade.  Wade, you may recall,  is the Mayor’s sister-in-law.  On December sixty 2007 and August twenty ninth 2008, Wade received payments totaling one hundred thirty nine thousand five hundred and thirty five dollars to deliver loads of river runs to four miles on the Western Highway and for use of trucks for sanitation work.  There were no contracts issued for the mayor’s in-law. And according to the then financial manager  the report says QUOTE “the contract was done verbally.” END QUOTE.

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