A former staff attached to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), as well as several civilians are currently being grilled by the Police after major fraud was uncovered at the Authority.
According to a statement from the CH&PA, the staff – who this publication understands from sources is female – was immediately fired after several discrepancies were uncovered by the agency.
“Immediate steps were taken to have the staff relieved of duties with immediate effect to facilitate the investigation. At this juncture, the agency will not be providing any further information on the matter, to not prejudice the investigation,” CH&PA said.
“In the interim, the agency will be making all necessary information needed by the Guyana Police Force available to ensure that justice is served. The Central Housing and Planning Authority again reiterates its zero-tolerance policy on any form of corruption and misuse of public funds.”
Reliable sources have meanwhile informed this publication that the alleged fraud was in connection with the selling of lands to persons outside of the regular channels.
Crime Chief Michael Kingston, when contacted by this publication, confirmed that the former staffer and several persons are indeed in Police custody assisting them with their probe. He took care to stress that those detained are not staff of the Ministry of CH&PA.
Last year, CH&PA had confirmed it was grappling with a backlog of in excess of 25,000 active applications in the system. According to CEO Lelon Saul, they are currently working to reduce the backlog.
“We will be developing several areas over the next two years or so but this would not significantly reduce the numbers. For us to make a significant impact on that number, we need to make available an average of four to 5000 solutions yearly over the next five years,” Saul had said.
Under the previous Administration, over 100,000 house lots were distributed and over 200 core houses were made available to underprivileged families, while a programme for professional groups provided 200 teachers, nurses and Policemen with fast track access to loans for home construction.