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Strict accountability is what’s required

Saturday, January 6, 2018

I was particularly intrigued by the paragraph in the article in yesterday’s Guardian lead story stating, “Questioned on Government’s $147 million budget for Carnival across T&T, Imbert noted that expenditure had ballooned from $8 million in 1992 to $250 million before he returned to office in 2015”.

This is indeed a large sum of money from the public purse and taxpayers should have an explanation as to where this large sum is going.

According to another report, in 2016 “Pan Trinbago was allocated $23 million, the NCBA was allocated about $9 million and another $7.3 million was allocated to TUCO...” out of a total allocation of $168 million.

This is not good enough—only about $40 million out of $168 million is mentioned.

We, the citizens of T&T have a right to know how our tax dollars are being spent, especially in these hard times.

Hopefully it can be enquired of the Minister as to how this $147 million is going to be distributed—every single dollar.

Also, we need to know that each organisation that receives funds can properly account for the sum it receives. We need this information in a timely manner soon after Carnival and that the accounts are preferably audited by independent auditors.

Furthermore, we need to see records of the past five years at least from those organisations that received millions of taxpayers’ dollars to see if the funds allocated were properly accounted for.



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