The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) has launched an investigation to determine whether there is a pattern of corrupt practices within the system.
This investigation comes following allegations, which suggests that the Regional Housing Officer of Region #2, Omesh Sasenarine, unlawfully collected $50,000 from a citizen and issued forged receipt.
The police were called in last week and the accused was arrested and a criminal investigation is being conducted.
CH&PA Chief Executive Officer, Lelon Saul, said the investigation being led by the Department of Housing, is to determine whether or not the incident is an isolated one or whether there is a pattern of corrupt practices within the housing agency.
Except for the CH&PA office in Georgetown and Linden, all payments for house lots must be made at the Regional Democratic Offices in Regions 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9.
Given this report, ongoing investigations are being carried out at all those offices.
Saul said audits are presently being done and the CH&PA would ensure that all regional offices are closely monitored through regular inspection of the internal audit department.
He also promised visits by managers to the offices at least once monthly.
Saul said at the end of the police investigation, a decision will be taken on how to address the current issue.
Sasenarine is currently on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. But Saul has already made it clear that if found guilty, he will be dismissed.
The CEO is also pleading with members of the public who may be adversely affected or aggrieved by the indiscretion of any employee of CH&PA to report the incidents to his office or any manager of the agency.
“I want to advise citizens not to enable corruption by offering an inducement to employees. They are welcomed to report cases when employees demand payment or favor. The CHPA is a public service agency and the hallmark of public service is integrity. Our employees are paid by the state and you do not need to pay them,” he said.
Saul insisted that all reports of corruption will be investigated and those found wanting will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
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