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Prime Minister orders forensic audit into oil losses at Petrojam

Andrew Holness
 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has ordered a forensic audit into the massive oil losses at the State-run refinery Petrojam.
 
This follows the Auditor General's report which revealed that Petrojam was unable to account for over 600,000 barrels of oil worth more than $5 billion.
 
This spanned a five year period.
 
The Prime Minister announced the forensic audit at a media briefing Monday morning.
 
Mr. Holness said he met with the board of Petrojam on Friday to discuss the Auditor General's report on the problem-plagued oil refinery, to include the significant oil losses.
 
He has directed the board of Petrojam to begin the process for the audit. 
 
"There could be the possibility of pilferage, and indeed, we have heard anecdotal cases of pilferage of finished products. But it could be wastage, it could be technical losses. We need to know exactly what are the proportions; what causes it," he asserted.    
 
Mr. Holness has also instructed the board of Petrojam to take action to recover funds identified in the Auditor General's report as misused.
 
The Auditor General's report which was tabled in the House of  Representatives last week revealed that millions were wasted.
 
Mr. Holness said a principle of restitution will be established to ensure accountability in the use of public funds. 
 
The Prime Minister has also confirmed statements in the Auditor General's report that delays in upgrading Petrojam could render it obsolete in a few years.   
 
"Generally, the plant is old, so it is not operating at its true level of efficiency. We have not had the upgrade refinery since 2006, so the renewal of our refinery has been delayed for over a decade, and it is likely that if the current situation remains, the refinery could end up being obsolete, in fact, it is near obsolescence now," he noted. 
 
In addition, Mr. Holness responded to calls for individuals and companies that benefited from Petrojam contracts in breach of procurement rules to be identified and blacklisted. 
 
"My view is that they should be named. I just want to be sure that I'm on a solid legal footing and I'll discuss that when I meet with the Auditor General," he said.  


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