The Urban Park project is not a priority – Edghill


The billion-dollar D’Urban Park project is not seen as a priority for the new PPP / C administration.

Public Works Minister Juan Edghill, in a recent telephone interview, told Stabroek News that there has been no discussion about the future of the recreation area controversially created under the APNU + AFC government .

D’Urban Park, dubbed the ‘Green Zone Recreation Park’, was created to host activities for Guyana’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2016 and has since sparked major controversy and required repair work. expensive. When asked if there had been a discussion or briefing on D’Urban Park’s development plans since taking office, Edghill said no.

He said “D’Urban Park is not [regarded] as a development project that will see transformational development. The future of the park will have to be discussed and determined by Cabinet.

Construction and development of the project began under Homestretch Development Inc (HDI) immediately after APNU + AFC took office in May 2015.

Larry London of APNU + AFC was linked to the project and was the owner of HDI, the company that started the preparatory work. , 2015, about two months before the government officially announced what was going on there.

More than $ 1.3 billion has been spent on the project – a large parade ground with wooden stands – and despite this, the National Assembly has been asked to approve millions of extra-budgetary spending to meet the additional costs. . With suspected financial irregularities, the Guyana Audit Office launched an investigation into the controversial project spending in early 2017.

The preliminary findings were included in the 2017 Auditor General (AG) report on Guyana’s public accounts. In the last GA report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, it was noted that on March 11, 2019, the Court of Auditors sent the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) a request for additional documentation for the project. . “Some documents have since been submitted to the Court of Auditors. At the time of the report in September 2019, the Court of Auditors was examining the said documents, ”the report states. The 2018 report, which was presented to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland, on September 30, 2019, was not tabled in the Assembly until it was dissolved. However, a copy was seen by Stabroek News.

AG’s latest report provides a summary of the investigation’s findings and, as previously reported, indicates that up to December 31, 2017, amounts totaling nearly $ 1.150 billion have been spent on the project. The report reiterated that the payment vouchers to support expenditure totaling $ 107.119 million were not produced for the audit review while there is no evidence of controls on the works for which the the private company that started the project, HDI, received half a billion.

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