A major investigation into suspected financial improprieties at the headquarters of the Guyana Fire Service has been launched and the Fire Chief is facing a number of questions.
News Source understands that the investigations were prompted by an audit of the operations at the Fire Service headquarters which raised several worrying issues.
Part of the investigations currently underway involves the price that companies were being charged for petroleum licenses and safety certificates. There are reports that some companies were charged as much as 100 times above the official cost for the licenses and certificates, with no trace of the funds being left behind.
One company was charged $1.5 million for a safety certificate that carries a cost of $100.
It is suspected that the company and other companies, might have been provided with fake receipts that are not linked to the Fire Service’s accounts.
It is believed that other services were also overcharged and there is no direct trace of the money from many of those services.
The Fire Chief was warned during meetings about the financial issues that were linked directly to him and told to discontinue the practice of being directly involved in the financial activities of the headquarters.
News Source has seen documents that show that the issue was forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs, prompting the internal investigations.
As part of the investigations, statements were submitted by staffers in the Administrative Department of the Fire Service headquarters as well as some of the other divisional stations. In one statement, it was explained that there were a number of changes implemented with regards to the application, submission, and approval of the safety certificates.
Some departments were bypassed from oversight and it was one office that started to deal with the applications and approvals and receipt of payments.
The investigation dates back to a number of activities that took place from April last year under the watch of the Fire Chief.
Earlier this week, several firemen in a statement indicated that there should be no extension of the contract of the Fire Chief who is expected to proceed on retirement soon.
Many of the officers have accused him of bad management of the Fire Service and also believe that an extension of his contract could lead to delays in other promotions.