PORT OF SPAIN — A major scandal has been unearthed at the North Central Regional Health Authority, where the Prime Minister’s signature was forged in an attempt to receive a million-dollar payment.
The bogus letter bearing the Prime Minister’s forged signature surfaced among a pile of doctored documents at the NCRHA, where an elaborate plan was uncovered whereby contracts totalling millions of dollars were split up to the value of under $50,000 so no board approval was required.
An internal audit found there were major discrepancies in the process of the award of the contracts.
Action was taken by the current NCRHA management and the board≠ – which was installed last November – resulting in the termination of contracts of three persons: the manager of the projects unit, Carlson Ramlal, site control officer Wayne Rodriguez and draughtsman Darwin Robain.
Sources said contracts were issued with total disregard for due process. Costs of work were inflated and the audit found a paper trail of questionable documents.
The NCRHA is facing possible legal challenges from contractors who are demanding payments, and questions are being asked as to how such corruption went unnoticed.
Adding to this, sources said NCRHA acting CEO Dr. Rodney Ramroop had alerted the board to a number of questionable documents which required his signature.
Sources said the chief concern was the letter bearing the forged signature of the Prime Minister, dated August 24, 2012, which was addressed to NCRHA CEO Collin Bissessar.
It is still a mystery as to exactly who wrote the letter bearing the official letterhead of the Office of the Member of Parliament for Siparia.
In it, the “MP for Siparia, Kamla Persad-Bissessar” writes in support of a contractor and asks that he be given work and also be paid all outstanding payments.
The signature is clearly forged, as it differs from the Prime Minister’s authentic signature. (Express)