Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana (IDPADA-G), Olive Sampson has referred the Culture Minister Charles Ramson Jr. to the Ministry of Finance for all of the financial information that he has requested from the organisation.
In a response to the Culture Minister’s letter seeking financial documents, the CEO of the group said not only was a comprehensive audit of the organisation’s finances done for the period 2018-2021 but all financial records for that period were submitted to the Central Internal Audit Unit of the Ministry of Finance.
“You may be unfamiliar with the above referenced audit report done under the purview of the Ministry of Finance which established that IDPADA-G’s disbursement of funds was proper and without cause for reprimand. The findings of the audit from 2018 to 2021 provided guidance on minor changes to internal processes that have since been implemented,” the CEO told the Culture Minister.
Ramson in his letter to the organisation earlier this week said his request was as a result of “recent disclosures, publications, and public statements”, which have raised serious concerns.
But the IDPADA-G’s CEO said the organisation’s operation has been above par. “Please note that IDPADA-G agrees and commits to accountability for every cent allocated to us from any source. Accordingly, from the inception we have been accountable,” Mrs. Sampson said.
It was explained that only period for which receipts and disbursements by IDPADA-G have not been audited is January 1, 2022 to present – a period of eight months.
“We are aware of the legal provisions for financial exposures and audits of entities such as IDPADA-G Inc. However, as further demonstration of IDPADA-G’s commitment to accountability, we are prepared, in this instance, to submit the relevant records to an independent auditor although statutorily this period is not due for an audit,” Minister Ramson was further told.
According to the CEO, IDPADA-G stands ready to engage the appropriate government agency to mutually agree on such an independent auditor and the necessary terms of reference for the period January 1, 2022 to the present.
The organisation IDPADA-G has been receiving support funding from the Government of Guyana since 2018.
Ramson’s letter to IDPADA-G was sent exactly one week after the organisation’s Chairman of its Coordinating Council, Vincent Alexander sent a letter from his Attorney to Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo notifying him of his intention to file legal proceedings against the Vice President for statements he had made against Alexander and his role at IDPADA-G and its finances.
Alexander has demanded an apology from the Vice President and compensation to the tune of $50 million.
During a press conference three weeks ago, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo accused the organisation of misusing millions of dollars in state funds and not using the money for its intended purpose. But this was refuted by the Coordinating Council of IDPADA-G.