The former Personnel Officer of the Ministry of Public Service who is already facing forgery charges before the courts, could find herself being questioned in relation to another fraud matter following the discovery of a $127 Million fraud that occurred at the Ministry under the previous administration.
The new government on Wednesday confirmed that a police investigation is currently underway into the fresh allegations of fraud.
Governance Minister Raphael Trotman refused to directly finger anyone in the fraud investigation but said the fraud amounts to tens of millions of dollars.
“Everyday things seem to be bubbling up from the deep and one of them indeed pertains to the Public Service Ministry. I don’t want to name the Minister directly but certainly activities around that Ministry pertaining to allocations of tens of millions of dollars is actively engaging the Guyana Police Force,” Trotman said.
Trotman did not divulge details of the fraud allegation for fear of prejudicing the investigation. However, News Source understands that it came to the government’s attention that in the run up to the elections, over $127 Million was withdrawn from accounts of the Ministry under a “warrant” system.
The warrant is a document which usually authorizes another Ministry to spend money on the original Ministry’s behalf and that money would have had to been in the budget.
The money was allegedly withdrawn under the cover that it is to be used for public service evaluations in the ten administrative regions, but other officials of the Ministry have reported that they are unaware of any such evaluation taking place at that time.
Reports indicate that the money was withdrawn in three tranches over a number of months earlier this year. Already, police investigators have started to question officials of the Ministry as they begin their probe.
News Source has learnt that the investigators intend to question former Personnel Officer, Margaret Cummings since her name appears on some of the documents for the withdrawal.
Cummings and former Minister of Public Jennifer Westford were both charged today in relation to the illegal transfer of state vehicles to private individuals from the same Public Service Ministry. They have both been granted bail in that matter.