Memo for $77 million
In a memo dated June 12, 2013, the permanent secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Finance wrote to Ministry of Sport PS Ashwin Creed about his request for $77,233,050 to pay off invoices for the mobilisation fee, catering/meals and coordinating services.
The PS in the Ministry of Finance observed that only $971,181 would be paid from its account at First Citizens because there were irregularities with regard to the invoices.
It was noted that:
“1. Differences with respect to the format and layout of invoices tendered by the same contractor which are dated one day apart;
2. Material differences with respect to the quoted amounts and the information on the amended invoices; and
3. Invoices were not certified by the Permanent Secretary.
“Given the above observations, it obviously appears that new invoices were generated for the LifeSport Programme February expenses, when our intent was that you would certify the originals which were returned to you,” the memo stated.
“In addition, with respect to the letters of engagement between each coordinator and the Ministry of Sport, we have observed that a Mr Hugh Grant executed the contracts for the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sport for and on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The Ministry of Finance and the Economy wishes to remind you that the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sport is the Ministry’s Accounting Officer and is the appropriate officer for executing such documents,” it said.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that whilst we are unable to approve the payment to coordinators until the contracts are executed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sport, we have observed that there are inconsistencies in the certification of the coordinators’ invoices.
“The Ministry of Finance and the Economy is very concerned about the inconsistencies in invoices submitted for payment, most notably in respect of the fact that new invoices are being generated in lieu of our request for the original invoices to be appropriately certified,” it said.
Creed is out of the country until July 31.