Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | July 22, 2009
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Fraud Squad probes payment to JIS worker
A MINISTRY of Finance official says at least four government bodies breached the Financial Audit and Administration (FAA) Act when they wrote cheques in the name of a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) employee for services rendered by the executive agency.

Robert Martin, deputy financial secretary, yesterday advised a meeting of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that payments made to a JIS regional manager for work done by the agency had contravened the FAA law and could attract sanctions.

"I would have to read through the act and find the relevant section under which the appropriate action would have to be taken against these entities," he said.

Martin requested documents relating to the four agencies and the amounts involved, as well as the name of the worker implicated.

The PAC was told by JIS executives that documentary evidence of the irregularities were submitted to the financial secretary, auditor general, the Police Fraud Squad and minister with portfolio responsibility for information.

The Auditor General's Department reported that the total sum pocketed by a regional manager of the JIS was $362,000, the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Fraud Squad.

Latoya Crossman, internal auditor at the JIS, who appeared before the PAC yesterday, told the committee that the regional manager billed agencies such as parish councils and collected the money.

The internal auditor said the employee had been interdicted and the JIS was now awaiting the completion of the police investigation to determine his fate.

She also revealed that two other employees at the same office were interdicted for similar offences. Crossman added that the administrative assistant at the Mandeville Regional Office was retired in the public's interest after allegedly misappropriating $19,363.

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