– as AG decries slow pace of investigationInvestigations into discrepancies in the National School Feeding Programme are grinding along, with sources informing Guyana Times that some Police Officers who were handling the case were at one point transferred.A group of students enjoying lunch at the Shulinab Primary School, South Central Rupununi, Region NineWhile the Police Officers have been transferred, it is unclear if this was a routine rotation or a punitive act. Efforts to contact top officials in the Guyana Police Force (GPF) were futile. When contacted, Auditor General Deodat Sharma informed this publication that the investigation should have been completed by now.“I don’t know why it’s taking so long … I’m not very satisfied with that. We need to put a close to that aspect of it. I think they’re taking too long, because it was an area that was very clear-cut. I don’t know what’s happening there,” Sharma said.The National School Feeding Programme targets all nursery and primary school students in Grades One and Two. It was implemented in Regions One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and 10 and Georgetown. Regions Seven, Eight and Nine are treated separately. The meals consist of biscuits and juices.But the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the education sector, which was completed since 2017, had recommended that an investigation be launched into the Feeding Programme to ensure Government was getting value for money.Following this recommendation, State Auditors had embarked on this very investigation targeting the Programme. They had reportedly found major “spending” inconsistencies plaguing the Programme in two remote villages in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) during the period 2016-2017.Notwithstanding the lofty ideals of the Programme, coordinators in the red-flagged region have reportedly been abusing the responsibility and power vested in them. Particular scrutiny was brought to bear on the expenditures for each meal and that revealed costs were inflated. This had raised further queries as to whether the correct procurement procedures were followed during the award of the contracts.Millions of dollars ($1.3 billion and $1.9 billion in 2016 and 2017 respectively) were injected into the initiative, which was implemented in the 10 administrative regions following its re-launch in 2010 by former President and now Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.According to media reports, funds allocated to the Feeding Programme for the Kato Secondary School were even diverted to other areas.Still unaccounted forWhen it was released last year, the AG’s 2017 report had found that $52.5 million was still unaccounted for in the controversial programme. It was noted that State auditors examined the records of 11 schools in Regions Seven and Nine. Some $73.6 million was allocated to the programme in those schools which was supposed to go towards feeding 2189 students.But the report revealed that key documentation, such as bank reconciliation statements, was not presented to the auditors. As such, the AG could not even determine whether the sum, which was received by eight schools, was ever deposited into the bank in one lump sum.“The absence of this key control measure can lead to the perpetration of wrongdoing, without prompt detection,” the report notes, while adding that there was no evidence of supervisory checks of cash books by the management committee in three of the schools.“Supervisory checks were also absent in the stock ledgers and goods received book for six schools in Region Nine … the safeguarding of public funds was compromised. Moreover, cash was kept in the personal possession of the treasurers in eight schools. This unsatisfactory situation could lead to the perpetration of wrongdoing,” the report states.In its response, the Ministry acknowledged the AG’s findings, but it was pointed out that the programme itself was in the process of being transitioned from central management to community-based management.
NEW YORK – The board of directors of the “N.Y. Greek American” issued the following statement directed to the Greek-American community concerning the selling of the soccer club’s building.Follows the announcement:JUNE 2018 Dear Greeks of America,We believe that, almost everyone knows about our Association building (25-33 Astoria Blvd, Astoria, NY), which was bought by our old members (most no longer living) to house the “N.Y. Greek American” Soccer Club and covering its financial needs from the Club’s net income and from the rents of the two apartments in the building. The old ones had also predicted that when there was no “N.Y. Greek American” the building would go to the Greek nursing home facility St. Michael’s Home, Yonkers, NY.However, today’s “trustees” (25-33 Astoria Bulevard Corporation), the company that the old ones had set up to manage and protect (…) the building, after they had introduced their own “new” members to the company, because many old members had died and thus acquired the majority of the members, voted to have the right to sell the building and, in addition, to have the right and to sell it to “themselves and others.” As it was finally done! Our building, the source of our income, has now been sold to one of the trustees – the “trustworthy” (assumed…) and the son of another trustee!Our Athletic Club “N.Y. Greek American” has now lost its roof and its source of revenue! Not only that, but eight years before the building was sold, the trustees did not give Greek American ANY of the club’s income and apartment rentals, with the false reasoning that… “N.Y. Greek American… no longer existed.”In the eight years that the “Confident …” argued that … “Greek America no longer existed,” not only did it EXIST but was also five years in the finals of the US Amateur Soccer Federation and in 2014 WON THE TITLE! In addition, during those years, it won three times the COSMOPOLITAN SOCCER LEAGUE, the best and most historic Football Federation of New York – the former German American League! In addition, during those eight years that they said that “we did not exist,” we, apart from our first championship team we also have a reserve team and over 30 veterans teams!There has been a lot of writing over the years about the subject of the building, which “N.Y. Greek America” lost, but also about the “trustees” and masters, those responsible for “N.Y. Greek American” losing its building, its roof, and property! Nevertheless, it has never been written, so far, who are these “trustees” and “trustworthy”…In our announcement, we will first reveal their names!PAVLOS BETZIOS, old footballer of the substitution team of “N.Y. Greek America” and then an important player of the Association for many years and knowledgeable of his history. First started the campaign that “N.Y. Greek America” no longer had any reason to exist and that he had to end his activity and give his building to the Nursing Home, which was strongly opposed by the living members of the club, first with George Lazaridis.GEORGIOS LAZARIDIS, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of 25-33 Astoria Bulevard Corporation. Former soccer player for New Greece and NY Atlas, NY Atlas agent, and after “N.Y. Greek American,” who initially reacted strongly to the sale. Eventually, however, he himself and members of his family were the buyers of the building.IOANNIS MANIS, NY Atlas agent – one of the two buyers.ALEKOS AMANATIDIS, agent of “N.Y. Greek American” for many years.CONSTANTINOS GIGOS, former soccer player of the Group A N.Y. Greek American.STEVE IEROM, footballer of the junior team of “N.Y. Greek American” in the 1960s and later “N.Y. Greek American.”DIMITRIOS MAGGANAS, former soccer player of the 1st team of “N.Y. Greek American” and leader.DAMIANOS NANOS, former soccer player of the 1st team of “N.Y. Greek American.”PRAXITELES XYLAS, former agent of “N.Y. Greek American” with respectable contribution for many years.PANAGIOTIS TAGIOS, former soccer player of the 1st team of “N.Y. Greek American.”DIMITRIOS TERTIS, former soccer player of the 1st and 2nd group of “N.Y. Greek American.”By decision of all the above trustees – “trusted…” our building has already been SOLD to Mr. IOANNIS MANI and KYRIAKOS LAZARIDIS oldest player of the “Ν.Υ. Greek American” and a member of the Board of Directors, for a while, also the president of “trustees” GEORGE LAZARIDIS, instead of $1,200,000 (one million two hundred thousand dollars), only half (approximately) was given to the Nursing Home.The “N.Y. Greek American” did not even get a penny! Detailed review of the sale of our building, WAS NEVER GIVEN!RESALE!And while they were saying and asserting… “confident” that our building would be at our disposal even for ten years after the sale (with this false certificate they deceived some of the other trustees to agree to “Instead, in just a few months, buyers resell it – already in a contract…” – with an Italian owner and other real estate at Astoria Boulevard, Astoria, NY, with an amount of $2.5 million (two and a half million dollars), i.e. with a profit of $1.3 million in only a few months!DECISION! Based on all of the above, the Board of Directors of our Association “N.Y. GREEK AMERICAN” HAS DECIDED THAT ALL OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED FIRST TRUSTEES,PAUL BETZIOS, GEORGIOS LAZARIDIS, JOHN MANI, ALEKOS AMANATIDIS, CONSTANTINOS GIGOS, STEVE IEROM, DIMITRIOS MAGGANAS, DAMIANOS NANOS, PRAXITELIS XYLAS, PANAGIOTIS TAGIOS, DIMITRIOS TERTIS plus the other buyers of the building KYRIAKOS LAZARIDIS, KOSTAS MALLIOS ARE “BANNED FOR LIFE” from the course and history of the Athletic Association “N.Y. Greek American,” and they will not be accepted again in the “N.Y. Greek American” Athletic Club as long as they live!!!HISTORY CONTINUES!The Family Athletic Association “N.Y. GREEK AMERICAN” has existed since 1946!It has existed in all the past eight years in which the “trustworthy” have spread the falsehood (!) that it did not…IT DOES EXIST AND IT CONTINUES!!!We are already looking for another location in Astoria to transfer and store the MANY Cups of Glory and Majesty that we have won all over America throughout all these decades, plus our framed photographs that still decorate the walls of the already sold and… re-sold building.WE ARE CERTAIN that the Greek Community WILL STAND BY OUR SIDE and help us again-STAND ON OUR OWN TWO FEET.The Family Athletic Association “N.Y. GREEK AMERICAN” HAS GLORIFIED the Greek Community for the past 72 years, longer than many other Greek organizations. It is part of the History of the Greeks of America.THE COMMUNITY WILL AGAIN STAND ON THE SIDE OF “N.Y. GREEK AMERICAN”FOR A NEW PATH TO GLORY AND GREATNESS FOR HELLENISM IN AMERICA.Sincerely,THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF “N.Y. GREEK AMERICAN”TweetPinShare33 Shares