Haiti - PetroCaribe: Former Minister of Tourism, denounces and proves 13 false accusations
In a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Youri Latortue, Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin, the former Minister of Tourism on the Presidency Martelly, denounces and proves 13 false accusations concerning her Ministry in the PetroCaribe report, revealing the unconfessed political intentions of the authors of this report initiated under Privert's transition regime.
« Mr Youri Latortue
President of the Senate
Senate of the Republic
In his offices.
I read through the press the contents of a report on the management of PetroCaribe funds, and noted with consternation that I was unfairly indexed as former Minister of Tourism.
This relentlessness, which the report shows to me, holder of the sole ministry to have a whole chapter devoted to the management of PetroCaribe funds, while less than 1% has been allocated to it already leaves room for doubt as to the real motivation of this report.
I hereby strongly refute the conclusions related to the Ministry of Tourism and defend my honor unjustly attacked.
After a first reading, I note the first 13 serious factual errors that are mentioned below and that prove that this report was built in order to question, all the gains that Haiti has benefited from over the last five years on the touristic plan, for unacknowledged political reasons.
So I go through the errors :
- For the contracts identified on pages 487, 502, 506, 510, 513, 514, 515 and 516. The commission makes responsible the Ministry of Tourism because the name of the CSC-CA signatory is not affixed to the contracts. I wish to inform you that the MT received a correspondence from the President of the Superior Court of Audit dated May 16, 2014 (Ref: BP / CSC-CA: Ex 13-14, No. 1412-1521-1520-1413-1219 ), stating that a "Seen and approved by the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation" was sufficient to validate the approval of this court instead of the full name of the signatory.
- The Biodiversity Project with CHRAD is reported twice on pages 521 and 497. While there was only one contract, the commission seems to want to insinuate that there would have been two. The commission still claims that the 2% advance payment in favor of the DGI was not collected. This is a falsity because these 2% were taken (see Copy of available checks BRH # 9022, # 10625, # 11444).
- The Commission has listed a number of projects on pages 485, 488, 489, 498, for which it seeks supporting documentation for the 2nd and 3rd installments. On this point, I wish to point out that following the PetroCaribe resolution # 5 of July 22, 2015, article 2, # 41, the funds were decommissioned and the funding was discontinued. Therefore, there can be no payments or, consequently, supporting documents.
- The commission listed on pages 520 and 496 of the report, a file entitled MARNDR / SEPV, twice. Moreover, it mentions the file as a contract. I have the advantage to inform you that it is a memorandum of understanding signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism, approved by the CSCCA, within the framework of the implementation of the Ile-à-Vache agritourism program whose projects were executed by private firms. I confirm that no amount has been disbursed by the MT in favor of the MARNDR. Thus, the amount of 738,000 gourdes, which is mentioned without reference to the check number, does not exist (see Memorandum of Understanding 2/12/2013 and addendum 12/3/2014).
- Page 485, Wastek. The commission still claims that the 2% advance payment in favor of the DGI was not collected. This is a falsity because these 2% have been collected (see Copy of check available BRH # 11770).
- Page 492, Mangroves project, Green Foundation. The report accuses the MT of having signed a contract with a firm that has no discharge or license. How could the CSC-CA have authorized the signing of a contract with a service provider without the legal papers? I affirm that this company held at the signing of the contract all its documents, the discharge and the presidential decree recognizing the foundation of public utility. As a result, it did not have to obtain a license.
- Page 498, KayKok Drinking Water. As part of this contract, two disbursements were made, check BRH # 0012573 for an amount of 887.655,24 gourdes and check BRH # 0012986 for an amount of 1,183,540.00 gourdes. The report mentions a third disbursement for the sum of 2,071,195.80 (without check reference) and requires supporting documents for the said amount. This third payment could not have been made because a letter was sent by the said company to the MT to claim the final payment. However, I draw your attention to the fact that the amount mentioned in the report is only the sum of the first two installments. Another serious mistake in the report.
- Page 490, Social Engineering. The report mentions that there is no documentary evidence for the first payment. I note that the contract, once approved by the CSC-CA, is the legal document required to make the first payment upon signature of the contract.
- Page 502, Fisheries Program. The report states that the contract signed for this project is not sealed and that the name of the signatory is not mentioned. I confirm that the contract was duly drafted, and that on the last page of the contract are affixed the seals of the CSC-CA and the Ministry of Tourism. Copy available.
- Page 503, Project Development of the baseline with the CNSA. The report mentions that the 2% advance payment has not been taken. It deliberately ignores the fact that it is a contract between two state administrative entities for which the 2% withholding tax is not applicable in the income tax legislation. In addition, it is stipulated in the contract signed by the CNSA, countersigned by its parent ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism, approved by the CSC-CA, ref. Article 3 paragraphs L that the CNSA as a public institution is not subject to payment of tax.
- Page 506, Promotion campaign, communication and awareness for the destination of Jacmel, DAGMAR. The report states that the vouchers for the first disbursement are not available. I note that the contract, being well approved by the CSC-CA, is the voucher for the first payment.
- Page 511, Joaneson Lacour. The report insinuates that the first installment would have been paid twice by two checks of the same amount. A serious audit could have shown that one of the checks was canceled, as Mr. Lacour received only one check as the first payment. A copy of canceled check # 8906 is available.
- Page 519, SONAC, Jacmel Interpretation Center. The report mentions that the date is not indicated on the contract, which would make the transaction and the disbursement inappropriate. However, again, the CSC-CA approved it by letter of transmission on November 4, 2014 (Ref: BP / CSC-CA: Ex 14-15, No. 085-063) and the work was actually done.
What is the credibility of this report when its drafters prepared it in total misalignment with the reality, knowingly ignoring the vouchers that would contradict their preconceived ideas ? What is its reliability, when those who prepared it are animated by ideological prejudices causing them to distort the truth ?
These assessments are therefore out of step with those made by other state institutions, more reliable and more aware of the realities.
Faced with such false accusations, far from confining me to silence, I am determined more than ever to defend my honor. I am convinced that I served my country with all the dynamism of my youth and the feeling that this country needs the skills of all its sons and daughters.
I would appreciate it, Mr. President, to respect the adversarial principle, to share this correspondence with all members of the Assembly.
Please accept, Honorable President, my best regards »
To find out all the details, the companies involved, the politicians implicated and the accusations made by the members of the Commission access the full report (656 pages) on : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bLsSASoob5lsRXy6BnsAN2ff-CQnG6Wd/view