A 2014 audit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has revealed serious irregularities in transactions conceived and conducted by former Director of Financial Services, Carlos Perera and former KHMH Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Gary Longsworth.
Both were released from the institution this year in less than stellar circumstances, and even in the wake of their respective departures, there remain many unanswered questions and allegations of wrongdoing.
A similar audit of the KHMH released in June 2012, following allegations of wrongdoing revealed irregularities also, and again both Director of Financial Services Perera and CEO Longsworth were named.
So the question has to be – why didn’t the Board of Governors take action after the 2012 audit?
In an exclusive interview, Chair of the KHMH Board of Governors, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino told The Reporter that on the heels of the 2012 audit, “There were a lot of concerns and unanswered questions, but there was nothing that we could prove.”
That audit, commissioned by Prime Minister Dean Barrow after consistent allegations of wrongdoing at the KHMH, revealed serious irregularities. In one instance, the audit found that “the hospital overpaid a foreign supplier (Skilled Solution) $17,098 for medical equipment that was never delivered.”
In another instance, auditors observed that “the KHMH prepaid Flamingo Export Company an amount of $7,675 worth of medical supplies, which were not received.”
There were many other irregular situations, including contracts offered for work on the KHMH and unauthorized spending on the KHMH Corporate Credit Card.
All those irregularities pointed to the senior management of the KHMH, CEO Longsworth and Director of Financial Services Perera.
But neither Perera nor Longsworth came under sanction, and there is a simple explanation for that. According to Chair Nisbet-Cansino, “The weak-nesses were identified from earlier on, but they (the CEO and the DFS) had the support of some of the Board members and that was basically it.”
In the case of CEO Longsworth, his contract was renewed even after the findings of the 2012 audit, specifically because of support from a majority of the Board.
Mrs. Cansino told The Reporter that “He requested an extension for one year, and that came down to a very heated discussion and debate, and we had to take it to a vote. And four of the Board members voted to approve the extension and three voted against it, and we had to go with a majority.”
Those weaknesses were again highlighted in the 2014 audit, commissioned at the request of the Board of Governors of the KHMH. That audit produced remarkably similar findings, including medical supplies paid for but not received.
The 2014 audit, like its predecessor, placed blame for the many financial irregularities and mal-administration squarely on the shoulders of former CEO Longsworth and former Director of Financial Services Perera.
Perera and Longsworth have been jettisoned from the KHMH, but may still be called upon to answer for those irregularities.
Following a recent discussion of the 2014 audit, the Board of Governors has decided to forward the audit report to the Solicitor-General for review and recommendations.