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Griffith: More audits coming

If there is fat to be cut, we cut it’

By port of spain \\\\\ Asha Javeed asha.javeed@trinidadexpress.com

On the heels of an audit into the LifeSport programme, National Security Minister Gary Griffith says he intends to conduct more audits into social programmes being run by his ministry.

These programmes include the Hoop of Life programme, the Citizen Security Programme (CSP) and the National Mentorship Programme (NMP).

Griffith noted these proposed audits are not linked in any way to the recently terminated Life­Sport programme and there have been no reports of questionable activity, but he is of the strong view it is necessary at this time to assess the impact of these programmes.

He said the reason for the audits is to verify these youth-focused programmes being offered by the Ministry of National Security are indeed delivering to stakehol­ders what they are mandated to do, based on the objectives of their design.

In a telephone interview with the Express yes­terday, Griffith elaborated that programmes need regular microman­agement to ensure the people put to run them are managing it effectively and there is not wasteful use of taxpayers’ dollars.

“We just need to make sure that the funds are being filtered down to the people it is inten­ded to reach. So the review is to see whether there is any fat to be cut,” he said.

“If there is fat to be cut, we cut it, to ensure that the maximum is reached to the people who it matters the most.”

Griffith said he wants to certify that under his watch, there is prudent financial management of funds earmarked for the various programme acti­vities. He further wants to ensure all funds are chan­elled directly to the relevant personnel and authorities for the exe­cu­tion of these programmes.

Asked whether the Ministry of Finance’s Cen­tral Audit Committee would be conducting the audits, Griffith said that decision had not yet been made.

The audit into the Life­Sport programme has been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the acting Commissioner of Police, the Integrity Commission and the Public Service.

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said he’s also reviewing it to see whether civil proceedings can be initiated to reclaim taxpayers’ dollars.

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