This week the House of Representatives wrote off a total of $161,154.37, with at least one of those losses emanating from a public officer’s misappropriation of funds.
The first is a $33,610 write-off of a debt from 2004, brought about when immigration officer, April Parchue, was arrested and charged for misappropriation of public funds.
The submission sheet says that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew the matter twice, and did not file it a third time resulting in closure of the case.
The second was for a write-off of $7,500, resulting from a Senior Council Gerald Smith being involved in a road traffic accident, and was later found liable for. It was decided that the cost of repairs to the government vehicle would be recovered through salary deductions. However, the deductions were halted “for whatever reasons” by order of the then Attorney General.
The third was for a boat belonging to the Coast Guard, which was stolen in 2009.
The patrol commander was found to be guilty of negligence for the loss, which amounted to some $32,696.00. The submission sheet explains that the “matter of recovering the loss to the government of Belize was never dealt with.”
There was a loss recorded for a Corozal Immigration Officer who was convicted for misappropriation of funds amounting to $48,500. He was fined 47,500, but died shortly after, which prompted GOB to write off the remaining $41,000.
There were also six other write offs with reasonable rationale for doing so, including several road traffic accidents, one of which claimed the life of a government employee on the Southern Highway. Some of the write-offs also emanated from robberies and burglaries at various Governments Departments.