Amid claims of poor project management and even impropriety surrounding the perimeter wall that was erected around Elmore Stout High School, Education Minister Myron Walwyn has made it clear that he is not shying away from the discussion.
“I welcome a vigorous debate on the Elmore Stoutt wall audit. As a matter of fact, it is my intention to move a motion [in the House of Assembly] for that audit to be debated when it is laid. For me, the issue is about ensuring that the level of government’s accountability and transparency processes are elevated and consistent across all ministries and government departments,” Walwyn said in a statement to local media this week.
The minister’s move to tackle the controversy head-on comes amid the Auditor General’s report on the wall which stated that the education ministry’s handle of near-million dollar project was not in compliance with government’s Public Finance Regulation.
Walwyn, however, maintains that those assertions are false.
“I am absolutely certain that there was no dishonesty of any sort in the execution of this project from the Ministry of Education. I cannot say that everything was done perfectly because that wouldn’t be true. What I can say is that I am eager to see positive action, not just plain political talk, to raise the standard of transparency and accountability in the government service,” the minister said.
He added: “I am also interested in seeing that all critical departments such as the auditor general’s office have all the resources that they need to carry out their responsibilities to the highest level.”
The project to build the wall — which is about 1,562 feet long and about eight to 10 feet high — had a cost overrun that was well in the thousands.
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