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Monday 23 July 2018
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Moonilal: PWC audit of HDC unlawful

Roodal Moonilal

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal is alleging audit firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) acted unlawfully in December 2015 by entering Housing Development Corporation premises, without consent from the board, to seize items. The items, he said, were used for PWC’s audit into the HDC. He also accused PWC of seeking directions from a Government Minister, whom he alluded was Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young.

Moonilal said the HDC board had fired all managers on December 17, 2015. “On that same day, before a decision was taken by the board, PWC went into the HDC and committed a criminal offence. They took Government property when they were not authorised by a decision of the board. That speaks of several breakings of the law.” He alleged PWC was chosen without tender.

Moonilal’s complaint was made yesterday in the House of Representatives where he piloted a motion alleging the Government has no viable housing policy.

“If they (PWC) are conducting an audit, they can’t be engaging the minister. Why is Kofi Boxhill (a PWC partner) writing the minister?” Moonilal asked why PWC was paid US$138,000.

He also alleged Young had written to HDC managing director Brent Lyons addressing him as “Brent”. “What’s that closeness, that chumminess? I call for a full investigation into all their (PWC’s) audits.”

Moonilal alleged the PWC had written to the Mortgage Finance Company to seek personal details of seven HDC clients, in violation of client confidentiality. He read out the PWC letter, saying, “Could you please give us information on the application and payment schedule of Lauren Legall, Renatta Jones, Nicole Carter, Indira Mc Farlane-Lee, Ann Mahabir, Rory Moses?”

He warned, “I want to alert you, this matter is on the way to the Integrity Commission and the police.”

Moonilal then queried several recipients of housing at the upscale but state-built Victoria Keyes: an OPM employee, a ministry communication manager, and a Petrotrin ex-board member. “On what basis did you select these people?” He marvelled that military heads could afford to buy a $1.8 million unit there.

In turn, Housing Minister Randall Mitchell alleged that under Moonilal’s tenure as housing minister, some “coward tax” (or protection money) had been paid to create a false sense of peace in communities. He then accused Moonilal of having been “accustomed to largesse”, prompting Opposition ire and causing Speaker Brigid Annisette-George to shout, “Order! Order!”.

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