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Premier says info not given to auditors is ‘small’

A section of the completed pier/park project

It appears the audit in the controversial cruise pier project will be completed without the auditing firm, KPMG, being given all information it had requested.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith made the disclosure in the House of Assembly this morning, August 1.

He claimed that the information not provided is small, but he did not state how he arrived at that conclusion.

“There was an agreement for conclusion of collection of documents. When that time came, they (KPMG) moved on to collating the documents, and then will eventually produce the report,” Premier Smith said.

He continued: “There was some small information that was not received [by the auditing firm]. But the information that was received [by them] was satisfactory to them, and they were made to continue to do the work that they were asked to do and complete during the summer.”

Gov’t getting in its own way?

Upon hearing the premier’s explanation, Fahie asked if the failure to provide all information requested is tantamount to Government ‘getting in its own way’.

He said, “Could the premier and minister of finance please inform this Honourable House, how can an audit that he called – the cooperation not be there to give the information that is being requested whether – small or big by the firm that the minister of finance hired to do the audit. Will this be seen, Madam Speaker, as getting in your own way.”

Premier Smith replied: “No, Madam Speaker, [we are not getting in our own way]. The information which was requested which was available was all provided to KPMG…”

He further stated that, when the audit is completed, the related report will be made available to the House.

Premier Smith, back in May, told the House that ‘there have been some challenges in identifying all of the relevant documents requested’.

When the premier announced the audit regarding the controversial project last year, he said it was to put an end to certain ‘rumours which of course are false’.

Tongues have been wagging especially over the fact that the project ended up costing $82.9 million, reflecting a cost over-run of more than $30 million.

The parliamentary opposition had said it does not expect the truth to be unearthed because Government is the one that had appointed the auditor to probe Government’s conduct in relation to the project.

Premier Smith previously promised not to interfere with the audit.

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