By Alexis R. Milan
The Board of Governors of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital met on Thursday December 11th, to analyze the findings of a special audit requested for the period July 2013 to July 2014.
The investigation specifically focused on the purchase of two X-ray machines for the hospital, and also the purchase of medical supplies from an Orange Walk-based company, S.P. Group Ltd.
If it is determined that there was criminal wrongdoing by the senior management of the institution, the audit report will be forwarded to the Solicitor General for his recommendations.
KHMH Board of Governors’ Chairman, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino told The Reporter that it is the obligation of the governing body to ensure that there is value received for taxpayer money spent.
While she declined to speak on specific findings of the report, Cansino confirmed that “the Board of Governors was not consulted or kept informed on the purchase of two X-ray units.
“Neither were we aware of any special financing arrangements made with a local company to procure those machines,” she said.
In the Audit Report, there was extensive scrutiny on a financing arrangement between the KHMH and S.P. Group Ltd. The findings of the investigation indicate that only Carlos Perrera, former KHMH Director of Financial Services, and Gary Longsworth, former CEO, were privy to that agreement.
On Page 18, the auditing team states: “We are of the opinion that the KHMH did not properly negotiate the financing of the X-Ray machines…In addition, the lack of clarity as to the negotiation of the financing can result in complex transactions between the parties.”
But do those ‘complex transactions’ refer to possible misappropriation of funds by the parties involved?
? That is unclear, though KHMH Chair, Chandra Cansino did say that this is an angle which will be discussed at the Board meeting.
Because so little information is available, the Board is trying to untangle the mess to determine what has been paid to S.P. Group Ltd., and what is still outstanding.
“It is a disappointment to me that senior managers could have acted in such a fashion,” Cansino commented.
In addition to the matter of the X-Ray machines, the Board will also look at the findings of the report with regard to the purchase of medical supplies from the Hong Kong-based Spring Holdings.
The Audit found that in May and June 2014, payments amounting to $187,539.24 were made to the company for the purchase of assorted supplies, including sheets and surgical gowns.
The Board of Governors was not aware of this transaction.
Those supplies were not delivered during the time of the audit. In fact, the team found that “there was no delivery date agreed upon by either party.”
The Reporter has not been able to confirm if those supplies, paid for fully in June, have been delivered at this time.
The Board of Governors is expected to issue a release on their analysis of the audit report by next week, and to give an indication of what steps will be taken, if any.