Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, has assured that the affairs of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) are being tidied up, with new control guidelines issued for the agency’s accounting practices.
“As we go forward, we will continue to tighten up the system, to put more checks and balances there, and a sub-committee of the NSWMA board has been tasked to fine-tune that aspect of operations,” he told journalists on June 27.
He was addressing the Jamaica House press briefing, hosted by Minister with responsibility for Information, Hon. Sandrea Falconer, at the Office of the Prime Minister.
He noted that while investigations are at a delicate stage in relation to irregularities at the agency, some issues are already before the courts.
“The Financial Investigation Division is still continuing work…we have some recent development in terms of missing cheques, so there are many things that we have to resolve in the NSWMA…the Board is actively going through the process, we might have to re-scope (and) refinance activities.
“While we continue to look at new structures, policies and programmes for the NSWMA, we have to continue with what we have. It’s a work in progress,” he stated.
In early June, Mr. Arscott reported that fraud was uncovered following a forensic audit of the NSWMA's accounts for the financial year 2011/2012. He said that one person was arrested in connection with the fraud, which involved illicit transactions totaling more than $160 million.
By the middle of the month, the police were called in to investigate the theft of cheque leaves from the agency. Two men have since been held in connection to the theft.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter