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|Description||Government has denied that it is bluffing about its promises to recovery stolen state assets.Responding to questions Wednesday about the administration¡¯s commitment, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon,jerseys from china, defended the progress and insisted that headway is being made.The official, who heads up the Ministry of the Presidency, made it clear that the recovery of assets is certainly not just talks.Rather significant ¡°backroom¡± work is being done.Already, the State Assets Recovery Unit, headed by Dr. Clive Thomas, has been established with work started.Thomas¡¯s offices are up and running, fully staffed and located in the Ministry of the Presidency, Harmon disclosed.¡°The important thing is that we recover those assets, we are going to go after those persons who have them but I am advised that it is better that we take certain steps before you actually publicize the names and the companies that are involved.¡±His reassurance would come as questions and impatience continue to grow over the process.The coalition, while in Opposition and campaigning for the May 11 General and Regional Elections, had vowed to crack down on corruption and to go after public officers whom they accused of stealing state assets.The previous PPP/C-led Government had been dogged by accusations of corruption.Shortly after taking office, the David Granger administration confirmed reports to Kaieteur News that several state vehicles transferred to private individuals under suspicious circumstances days before the May 11 polls have been recovered.Still another scam was uncovered where private vehicles were collecting fuel without authorization with a number of Ministries being billed.Several officials who have been under scrutiny for a number of projects and contracts have been sent on leave or did not have their contracts renewed.Several audits have started on a number of state agencies and projects but not yet completed or made public.There have been questions about the administration¡¯s seriousness.According to Harmon, progress has been made, with several assets already recovered.He admitted difficulties. Individuals and a company have been written to about the illegal collecting of fuel by vehicles. ¡°There is one company that we attempted to serve documentation, only to discover that the company had shut up shop. By the time we got to the registered office of the company they had moved to some other location.¡±He made it clear that the Government¡¯s resolve to recover stolen assets and bring the people to justice remains as sharp as when the process was started.¡°But now we are more fortified. In fact we are now operating on a wider scale¡in relation to the inter-agency collaboration on crime, we are having a greater level of coordination by agencies of the state in this regard.¡±Harmon stressed that despite the fact that his Government only entered office in May, significant work has been done.Last week, Alexei Ramotar, Head of the E-Governance project and son of former President, Donald Ramotar, was sent on leave for an audit to be conducted on that multi-billion dollar project.Also sent on leave for major reforms in the Ministry of Health was Permanent Secretary, Leslie Cadogan.According to Harmon, with access to information and in control of the ministries and state agencies, things are becoming much clearer now with the administration better positioned to take action.¡°The work which we are doing to recover these assets is not just collecting it but strengthening the institutional arrangements.¡±|
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