IDPADA-G asked to submit financial records of how it spent almost $500M in State funds

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
IDPADA-G Chairman Vincent Alexander

The Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sport has dispatched a letter to the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly – Guyana (IDPADA-G) requesting that it submits all financial records detailing how it spent State funds it had received since 2018.

In the letter seen by this publication, the Ministry explained that it has an “overarching public responsibility to ensure that public funds received by any entity are spent according to the intended objective”.

The Ministry said its firm position is that the intended objective of the public funds allocated to IDPADA-G is for the benefit and empowerment of as many Afro-Guyanese as possible.

“The recent disclosures, publications, and public statements have provided the basis for the Ministry to have grave concerns which require closer examination by the Ministry,” the Ministry noted.

As a consequence, it asked the organisation to provide copies of all financial records including, but not limited to, “payment vouchers, payroll, contracts, and receipts for all monies spent for the fiscal years from 2018 to the present date”.

“Submission of the foregoing along with an index of all documents are requested by September 5th 2022,” the letter added.

The letter, which dates August 31, was addressed to IDPADA-G’s Chief Executive Officer Olive Sampson.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo had recently challenged the organisation’s Chairman Vincent Alexander to properly account for the almost $500 million that was allocated to the entity by the State.

Alexander had taken part in a press conference alongside other IDPADA-G directors, where he had defended the organisation and Jagdeo’s earlier assertions that the organisation has not been utilising State funds adequately to benefit African-Guyanese.

In his subsequent statement, Jagdeo said that Alexander’s press conference left more questions than answers. Jagdeo posed the questions in his statement, such as questions on how much of the $100 million IDPADA-G received since 2019 was spent on salaries and details on those that were paid.

“First off let me state that I have absolutely no intention of apologising to Vincent Alexander and he is free to take whatever course of action he wishes. Afro-Guyanese still remain in the dark as it relates to the benefits of the close to half a billion dollars utilised. He should therefore provide details on the following.”

“How much of the $100M allocated annually since 2019 and $68M in 2018 was spent on paying salaries, who are individuals that were paid, what amounts were they being paid and how were they selected? How much of that sum was spent on rental, who owns the buildings rented, and what process was used for the selection of the buildings?” Jagdeo questioned.

Jagdeo also questioned how many persons benefitted from capacity training, the types of training offered, who conducted the training, and what process was used to select both the trainers and beneficiaries of the training.

“Why was IDPADA-G registered as a private limited liability company where a number of persons (inclusive of yourself) are listed as the beneficial owners instead of a not-for-profit organisation? These are just a few questions for the moment. I will address this matter in greater detail shortly,” Jagdeo further said in his statement.