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E.U. Auditors Vist OKEU Hospital!

img: Aerial view of the medical complex near the Millennium Highway with OKEU Hospital at the forefront.

THE Office of the National Authorising Officer (NAO) says the presence of representatives of the European Union (EU) Court of Auditors here is “an integral part of the process of Monitoring, Evaluation, Management and Accounting of programmes funded under the European Union/African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP/EU) Development Co-operation.”

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office quoted the National Authorizing Officer (NAO) Philip Dalsou as saying that “the last mission of the EU Court of Auditor’s was in January 2017,” which facilitated the verification exercise of the Mocha Housing Project in Soufriere.

According to the statement, “The current visit of the EU Court of Auditors is a standard practice in keeping with the principles of accountability and transparency.

“The objective of the audit is to ensure that EU funds are correctly accounted for and spent in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations.

“The auditors will engage in reviewing information related to the design, construction and supply of equipment to the New National Hospital, otherwise known as the OKEU Hospital.”

But even as the statement was being read on social media, a protest was being mounted on the hospital compound to draw the visiting EU auditors attention to the fact that there is indeed opposition in Saint Lucia to the government’s plans to privatise the OKEU Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is calling on the government to be more transparent and forthcoming about its so-far-secret plans to privatize the OKEU hospital, which was built largely with 160 million Euros donated by the EU in what is by far its biggest Caribbean project to date.

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