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HOA Clerk reportedly told not to dictate how legislators use funds

HOA Clerk Phyllis Evans (left) and the Speaker Julian Willock.

Clerk of the House of Assembly (HOA), Phyllis Evans has indicated that she’s been told not to dictate how legislators dispense funds to their constituents.

The Clerk made the disclosure while giving evidence before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recently.

As the accounting officer, the HOA’s Clerk is responsible for funds dispensed through the House and is required to, among other things, assess applications for public assistance brought by House members.

Clerk powerless to ‘dictate what I do with my money’

A 2009 internal audit report on the Assistance Grants Programme, noted that even though the Clerk is the accounting officer for the HOA, she lacked the necessary authority to make certain expenditure without the expressed consent of elected representatives.

Evans acknowledged that she was aware of this existing limitation since she was asked to manage the process of dispensing funds and ensuring necessary documents were intact, even though she had no final say in determining whether monies are paid out.

The Clerk said when she raised the issue in informal meetings, the response had essentially been, “even though she’s the Accounting Officer responsible for the funds, the Clerk does not dictate what I do with my money”.

HOA was short-staffed in COVID-19 aid distribution

The concerns were raised against the backdrop of an audit of the 2020 COVID-19 assistance grants initiative which found that applications were not properly vetted before funds were distributed through the HOA.

Legislators each received an additional $300,000 to their customary subvention, to offer assistance to residents negatively affected by COVID-19.

But according to the audit, although the assistance grant programme policy document requires each applicant to provide evidence of the type and amount of support being requested, approximately one-third of applications approved and paid were not supported by any evidence of the type and amount of the awarded assistance.

Evans told the COI she was short-staffed during the period, and was the only one able to process the many applications at the time.

“There were a myriad of things happening. People were frustrated,” Evans told the COI. “Members were hollering. I was the only person going through each application. I couldn’t see everything. We were just very overwhelmed with the situations.”

The Clerk recalled that it was a trying time and said she was trying her best to assist persons who were in dire need of assistance.

According to Evans, while she realised some applicants did not have the necessary documentation, persons were hurting at the time, so she tried her best to be humane and ensure that they got assistance.

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14 Comments

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  1. 2030 says:

    “ The Clerk said when she raised the issue in informal meetings, the response had essentially been, “even though she’s the Accounting Officer responsible for the funds, the Clerk does not dictate what I do with my money”.”

    It is NOT NOT NOT your money Mr. Minister. It is the peoples’ money!!!

    That is WHY there is a COI COI COI …

    Like 67
    Dislike 1
    • Vidal Sleezoon says:

      Check WIGLOX🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
    • Lmao says:

      It is their money. Ask the politicians and they will tell you. Once elected they do as they please. How some question the need for the COI. Sir Gary, you have more than enough to recommend the Governor to take over. Please move on to the criminal investigation.

      Like 23
      Dislike 1
      • Joseph says:

        The problem is largely “systemic.” There are very few checks and balances between the Executive and Legislative Branches, since most members of the Legislative Majority occupy Executive (Ministerial) positions.

        This leads at once to Conflicts of Interest against which there are few effective safeguards…and hence rampant possibilities for corruption.

        Separate the Legislative and Executive branches…!

  2. lol says:

    this is jail work. Proceed with the COI. Thank you so much

    Like 36
    Dislike 1
  3. Resident says:

    The esteemed look f**lish with that rag on his head

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  4. Resident says:

    lock them all up

    Like 27
    Dislike 1
  5. Powercut says:

    He looks like such an id++t in that wig. Everything he despises, he chooses to adorn himself with. Bl**d B**bo.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  6. Lawd says:

    Look at the *** in the wig back there.

  7. L Ipton says:

    Sad but this is the System of governance created where certain persons are deemed to be above the law and therefore can do as the pleases.

    For four years successive government personnel can squander our treasury, then say if the people not please with their actions or performance, they can be voted out…

    Our government officials need to be held to a greater degree of accountable and responsible. This current system of law and governance where persons are deemed to be above the law need to change for betterment of out people and territory.

  8. They all dishonest. Everyone. says:

    Ms Pearlin Scatliffe is the most Sincere one since im watching it. She was so direct and honest with her answers she was done in a rush, she spent less than 15 Mins giving her evidence..

  9. Accountant says:

    So if the Clerk was able to ‘dictate’ to whom funds allocated to an elected minister were given then it would be an unelected person who the voters would have to look towards for assistance, not so? Is this a better way forward? I believe that the system as is is better. Both elected ministers and appointed clerk would just have to do their jobs well so that their actions are transparent and with adequate documentation. When time to evaluate performance of each the lines of responsibility will be clear enough to allow proper assessments.

  10. AH TELL ALYO says:

    LEAVE THAT YOUNG FELLOW AND HIS PRECIOUS WIG ALONE / NEXT THING YOU ALL GOING TO MAKE HIM …

  11. Staff says:

    That clerk need to go!

    Like 3
    Dislike 3

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