Category: zcbwieeq

So much discord to our nation

So much discord to our nation

first_imgDear Editor,President Granger in his Christmas message expressed that “Guyana is our motherland” and reminded Guyanese that they have a collective duty to ensure they keep their homeland free from disaffection and discord. But by his own action, he is the main reason for the disaffection and discord.How can a President sit in his chair and approve the borrowing of US$10 million from the Caribbean Development Bank and then apply those funds to four Afro-Guyanese villages in a nation that also included Amerindians and East Indians?(see evidence – http://www.stabroeknews.com/2016/news/stories/12/15/us10m-cdf-loan-grant-pact-revitalise-farming-four-neglected-villages/).How can a President sit in his chair and approve 38 national scholarships for scholars but less than 10 of those persons were certified scholars based on their passes at the CSEC exams? The other 28 are from Congress Place – political persons who have no place on the list of Guyana scholars because they did not earn the distinctions required to be on that list. They should all have been given People’s National Congress (PNC) scholarships, funded by party funds, not national scholarships. All the Granger Government has done is diluted the efforts of these 10 young children who passed their four and five subjects at the A Levels with distinction. But to add salt to the wound, only one of the 28 persons from Congress Place who got this scholarship was an East Indian and none were Amerindians.That East Indian girl only earned her spot because of nepotism, she is the daughter of the sitting Education Minister. Isn’t this the same thing Donald Ramotar did for his children? If it was wrong then, why is it not wrong now?Why make sacrifices so the PNC cabal can use all those funds to feed only one set of mouths rather than all mouths.Shame on Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Vice President Carl Greenidge who have experience in Government and who ought to know better but did nothing to stop this open abuse of power.They both served in previous Governments but allowed some G$10 million per year of these funds to be distributed to their Cabinet colleagues, making them into part-time Ministers on a full-time salary. Shame on you both for failing to guide these novices in the Administration to do the right thing, the just thing, the proper thing. Nobody is against the PNC giving its members scholarship but not at the expense of the State. Going forward, half the time these two Ministers (Furguson and Henry) will be out of the country on fully paid leave away at school learning how to be a Minister.Regards,Surujdai Lilmohanlast_img read more

Jennifer Nierva still learning to keep emotions in check

Jennifer Nierva still learning to keep emotions in check

first_imgTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ Nierva tallied just 12 excellent digs and 13 successful receptions and those numbers did not go well with the freshman as she left Filoil Flying V Center in tears.Just three days later, Nierva got back on the UAAP playing floor and completely showed University a defensive masterpiece in NU’s 25-21, 26-24, 17-25, 23-25, 17-15 victory Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsNierva said it was unbecoming of her when she broke down after NU’s loss to FEU and that, as the team’s libero, she should always remain composed for her teammates.“I shouldn’t be like that,” said Nierva in Filipino. “As a libero you should always play with consistency especially I’m the only libero in the team. Even if I commit an error or if I did something wrong, I should be composed as possible.” PBA fines Christian Standhardinger, Calvin Abueva, Doug Kramer for Game 2 antics Jennifer Nierva. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Jennifer Nierva had herself one heck of a turnaround.National University’s rookie libero was downtrodden when the Lady Bulldogs lost to Far Eastern University, 25-21, 25-19, 25-22, in their previous game in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte says he will appoint Gamboa as next PNP chief Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US ‘Duterte legacy:’ Gov’t boasts achievements so far Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Nierva tallied 30 excellent digs and 27 successful receptions in the game that ultimately eliminated the Lady Maroons from Final Four contention.NU, which was officially eliminated from the semifinal race several weeks prior, improved to a 4-9 record while the Lady Maroons dropped to 6-7 making way for University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University to lock up the last two Final Four spots.“When you’re a libero, you shouldn’t be emotional, you have to be steady always,” said Nierva. “Your attitude should always be straightforward to your teammates so you can always motivate them.”ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Comelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execslast_img read more

Live stream Man United v Arsenal on talkSPORT this Sunday

Live stream Man United v Arsenal on talkSPORT this Sunday

first_img1 Live stream Manchester United v Arsenal on talkSPORT this Sunday February 28 2016, kick off at 14:05 GMT.Arsenal are desperate for three points to keep leaders Leicester City within touching distance, but face a resurgent United at Old Trafford.CLICK HERE TO STREAM MAN UNITED V ARSENAL COMMENTARY ON TALKSPORTThe Gunners beat Leicester in their last Premier League outing, only for the Foxes to pick up three points yesterday and stretch their lead to five points.Arsenal, meanwhile, lost 2-0 at home to Barcelona in the Champions League in midweek, meaning their hopes for silverware are almost certainly down to the domestic front.The Red Devils followed up their Monday night FA Cup victory over Shrewsbury with progression to the Europa League last 16, where they will face Liverpool.That competition arguably represents United’s best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, but Louis van Gaal remains hopeful of his side hauling in neighbours Man City for the Premier League’s fourth place.Victory over Arsenal would put United three points behind City, albeit having played a game more.Find out what happens at Old Trafford, with live commentary on talkSPORT – around the world on talkSPORT.com and in the UK on your radio (click here for details).last_img read more

Spinach scare continues

Spinach scare continues

first_img“In light of continuing outbreaks, it is clear that more needs to be done,” the FDA’s Robert Brackett wrote in a Nov. 4 letter. Suggested actions included discarding any produce that comes into contact with floodwaters. Rivers and creeks in the Salinas watershed are known to be periodically contaminated with E. coli, Brackett said. Various produce growers’ associations worked with the FDA to publish new guidelines for the safe handling of spinach and other leafy greens in April after the agency reiterated its concerns. One food safety analyst said the Salinas Valley was developing a reputation for food safety problems connected to leafy greens. “Even the biggest companies have become vulnerable,” said Trevor Suslow, a microbial food safety researcher at UC Davis. FDA spokeswoman Susan Bro dismissed a claim by Natural Selection Foods LLC, the company linked to the outbreak, that its organic spinach products had been cleared of suspicion. “The FDA has not cleared any products from the list and continues to recommend consumers avoid eating fresh spinach products,” she said. Natural Selection has recalled 34 brands of fresh spinach products, distributed nationwide as well as to Canada and Mexico. The spinach is sold under the brand names Rave Spinach, Natural Selection Foods, Dole, Earthbound Farm, Trader Joe’s, Ready Pac and Green Harvest. Salinas-based River Ranch Fresh Foods recalled spring salad mixes containing spinach sold under the labels Hy-Vee, Fresh N’ Easy and Farmers Market, FDA officials said. All contain spinach purchased from Natural Selection. Local companies and restaurants continued to feel the impact of the recall. Ready Pac Produce Inc., an Irwindale company that distributes pre-packaged salads, suspended shipments of its spinach-based items and is voluntarily recalling one of its salad items that contains spinach: Ready Pac Organic Spring Mix with Spinach in the 1-pound plastic clamshell size with a “use by” date of Oct. 1 or earlier. The item has been available in limited distribution in Texas and Arizona Costco stores and is not available in California, said Steve Dickstein, Ready Pac’s vice president of marketing. It’s too early to tell how much spinach product is on the market or to gauge the financial impact of the spinach recall, he said. Monrovia-based Trader Joe’s voluntarily pulled from sale bagged fresh spinach salads, all bagged salad mixes containing fresh spinach and all ready-to-eat products containing fresh spinach, said spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki. Trader Joe’s salads and ready-to-eat items on the shelves have been reformulated and do not contain fresh spinach, she said. Trader Joe’s will not sell any items containing fresh spinach until the FDA deems the produce safe for consumption, she said. “As of \, we have received no confirmed reports of E. coli associated with products containing fresh spinach sold at our stores,” Mochizuki said. “Should customers have any of these fresh spinach products, they are encouraged to return them to Trader Joe’s for a full refund.” Picasso’s Cafe, Bakery & Catering Co. in Irwindale removed spinach from its menu as a precautionary measure, said Vincent DeRosa, founder and chairman of Picasso’s. Some spring mixes have been pulled by their supplier, he said. “As a point of safety and concern, we’re not going to be serving it until we’re fully convinced everything is safe,” he said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Federal health officials told California farmers to improve produce safety in a pointed warning letter last November, nearly a year before an E. coli outbreak linked to spinach. In fact, the current food-poisoning episode is the 20th since 1995 linked to spinach or lettuce, the Food and Drug Administration said. Though state and federal officials have traced the current nationwide outbreak to a California company’s fresh spinach, they haven’t pinpointed the source of the bacteria that has killed one person and sickened at least 113 others. A second death was being investigated in the outbreak, which involves 21 states. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsThe FDA is still warning consumers not to eat fresh spinach. The regulatory agency does not consider the contamination deliberate. “There is always a question in the back of our mind whether it may have been a deliberate attack on the food supply. Currently, there is nothing in the epidemiology to consider this deliberate,” said Dr. David Acheson of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. That leaves a broad range of other possible sources, including contaminated irrigation water that’s been a problem in the Salinas Valley. The area on California’s central coast produces much of the U.S. spinach crop. There have been 19 other food-poisoning outbreaks since 1995 linked to lettuce and spinach, according to the FDA. At least eight were traced to produce grown in the Salinas Valley. The outbreaks involved more than 400 cases of sickness and two deaths. In 2004 and again in 2005, the FDA’s top food safety official warned California farmers they needed to do more to increase the safety of the fresh leafy greens they grow. last_img read more

Raphoe give Annadale a shake, but final Kirk Cup clash ends in defeat

Raphoe give Annadale a shake, but final Kirk Cup clash ends in defeat

first_imgEYHL side Annadale endured three nervy quarters before eventually overcoming Raphoe in the Donegal side’s final Kirk Cup match. Annadale 4 Raphoe 1Going into the game Raphoe had an outside chance of progressing from the group but were massive underdogs against a side ranked 11 places higher in Ulster Hockey. Nonetheless Raphoe, with a very obvious defensive game plan, lead until after half time.  Missing several regulars, Raphoe needed to shuffle players from their usual positions. George Patterson excelled at right back, James Wilson shone at right midfield, while Gavin Lecky shifted to Simon Goudie who came into the side this week also performed admirably at centre back with ball distribution improved. However, against the run of play, Raphoe scored the opening goal in the 13th minute before which Annadale enjoyed the lion’s share of possession before going down to 10 men with one of ‘Dale’s young guns being sin binned for shoulder barging Lecky.George Patterson drove forward from right back before exchanging passes with Jonny Long. Patterson won a free hit just outside of the ‘Dale ‘25’ yard line. Patterson composed himself before taking the free, putting a disguise on a slap hit pass which found Lecky at the edge of the ‘D’ with his back to goal. Lecky collected the pass across his body enabling him to have a strike on goal with his second touch. Score low to the goalkeepers left. The Donegal men held out until quarter time despite being pressurised into mistakes in possession by the Belfast sides high press.  ‘Dale pressure grew in the second quarter with a series of penalty corners, Annadale having 12 corners in total in the game. Simon Goudie guilty of fouling outside the D resulting in ‘Dale thinking they had an equaliser on 26 minutes. Heavy celebration being cut short once the umpires conferred to judge a different ‘Dale player had encroached, resulting in the set piece being retaken which Davy Moore in the Raphoe net repelled. Keith Meehan intercepted a drag flick on the line from the final on three corners before the second period closed.After half time the relentless pressure told as Raphoe conceded a soft penalty corner. Evan Lyttle not retreating the required five metres before engaging in the tackle. Things got worse when a twitch from the ‘Dale injector lead to both Lyttle and Lecky breaking the line. Captain Lyttle, had to leave the defensive corner team. With Raphoe missing a player Annadale varied the penalty corner routine finding a deflection at the back post which was stopped illegally on the line. From the resultant stroke Davy Moore did superbly to save a powerful flick from Annadale captain Ryan Burgess. Raphoe did not have time to celebrate as moments later they conceded another corner which was converted using the same routine that brought the stroke before. ‘Dale continued to turn the screw before three-quarter time. The took the lead with four minutes to play in the quarter from a deflection from one of the few open play chances ‘Dale conjured in the game. In the final quarter Annadale, and especially their set piece routine, showed their class with Burgess scoring directly from two set pieces as the Irish Hockey League side finally became comfortable, George Patterson the culprit conceding both before being sin binned for the final moments in an otherwise solid performance that saw him deemed Man of the Match.Raphoe can draw good heart from a performance that was very disciplined for much in a game that they were not expected to contest.Raphoe: D. Moore, G. Patterson, S. Goudie, E. Lyttle, Z. West, J. Long, J. Wilson, L. Stewart, K. Meehan, G. Lecky, A. Crumley, T. Orr, Jo. Watt, Ja. Watt.Raphoe give Annadale a shake, but final Kirk Cup clash ends in defeat was last modified: October 27th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:AnnadaleGeorge PattersonKeith MeehanKirk CupRaphoeSimon Goudielast_img read more

Good eats

Good eats

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possible160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WESTSIDE “sophisticates” have long sneered at the San Fernando Valley as some sort of cultural wasteland, home of strip malls and little else. They ought to see the new Zagat Survey. Of the five top restaurants in Los Angeles, three are in the Valley region – Sushi Nozawa in Studio City, Leila’s of Oak Park and Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas. The guide also credits the Valley with the No. 1 deli and continental cuisine and No. 2 barbecue places in L.A. Not that anyone in the Valley is surprised. We’ve long know that this is the cultural mecca of L.A., the most diverse, vibrant part of the city. But it may come as news to those “sophisticates” that if they want a good meal, they’re going to need to come “over the hill.”last_img read more

1872 Cup: Assessing Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors

1872 Cup: Assessing Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors

first_imgEdinburgh: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Tom BrownGlasgow: Stuart Hogg, Junior Bulumakau, Lee JonesThe loss of Tommy Seymour could be huge for the Warriors. Bulumakau has some crowd-pleasing qualities but is inexperienced and enters a contest of test match intensity in his first start of the year.Edinburgh on the other hand are able to field their first choice trio of strike backs, with Damien Hoyland their major threat on the wing. Blair Kinghorn is the even younger pretender to Stuart Hogg’s full back throne and, after turning it on against Harlequins earlier this year, will be looking to catch the eye again. He may have to post a career-best day to outshine Hogg though. The Scotland 15 is one of the biggest X Factor players in world rugby.Verdict: Edinburgh have the better balance but Stuart Hogg is Stuart Hogg SNS GroupEdinburgh: Phil Burleigh, Chris DeanGlasgow: Alex Dunbar, Mark BennettBurleigh is a good 12 and Dean has seen off some very solid players to become Duncan Hodge’s go-to outside centre but they have a huge job on their hands to outplay their midfield counterparts.Dunbar is Scotland’s first choice 12; an imposing mix of muscular, incisive running, strong defence and good hands. Bennett is still getting back to his best after his brief sabbatical with Team GB’s 7s squad in Rio but has the speed and step to leave defences grasping at air.Verdict: Advantage Glasgow SNS GroupEdinburgh: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Duncan WeirGlasgow: Henry Pyrgos, Finn RussellIt is heartening to see Hidalgo-Clyne start to regain his confidence after too long in a form slump. His marshalling of the capital side to the European Challenge Cup final in 2015 earned him the national team back-up gig behind Greig Laidlaw but he has been a shadow of that dynamic, sniping scrum-half since then.Henry Pyrgos has been knocked by injury and the form of Ali Price has kept him waiting for a run in the Warriors side. On his day, only Laidlaw among the Scotland caps can dictate the tempo of a match better than the Glasgow co-captain.The showdown at stand-off is the top billing event of this derby game. Finn Russell is flying; tearing defences apart with his running, variety of delivery and creative kicking. All with that trademark cheeky grin.Duncan Weir headed along the M8 to get more game time and he has shown glimpses of the form that made him Warriors and Scotland’s number ten before Russell’s emergence. Weir is a gutsy player who will wear his heart on his sleeve against his former teammates.Verdict: Experience and form favours the Warriors SNS GroupEdinburgh: Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Simon BerghanGlasgow: Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Zander FagersonThe head-to-head between Ford and Brown will be fascinating. Cap centurion Ford has ruled the hooking roost for a decade but right now it is the Warrior showing the greater form. Brown was magnificent in the Champions Cup fortnight – particularly the home win over Racing 92.Dickinson will be out to show Vern Cotter he is up to speed after his injury lay-off but, right now, he is way out in front in the running to be Scotland’s Six Nations loosehead.With WP Nel on an extended break while his neck heals up, Zander Fagerson is in the driver’s seat to play tighthead for Scotland. The 20-year-old is in top form in the tight and loose.Alex Allan and Simon Berghan may be a distance from the national team reckoning just now but Allan can impress with Edinburgh’s Allan Dell settling for a place on the bench. New Zealand-born man-mountain Berghan has had awful luck with injuries but can be a serious force in the scrum.Verdict: Edinburgh pride themselves on a super scrum SNS GroupEdinburgh: Ben Toolis, Grant GilchristGlasgow: Brian Alainu’uese, Jonny GrayLock is an area of huge improvement for Edinburgh with the return of Gilchrist and the excellent form of Toolis, who has put himself in the running for a return to the Scotland squad with his strong and energetic recent displays.Alainu’uese is still settling in at Scotstoun after his move from Waikato in New Zealand. A red card against Ospreys has been his most noteworthy contribution to date.But any team with Jonny Gray in it is going to have a huge edge in the boiler room. Legend has it the last time he missed a tackle, Edinburgh were still called the Gunners.Verdict: Jonny Gray is life SNS GroupEdinburgh: Cornell du Preez, Hamish Watson, Magnus BradburyGlasgow: Josh Strauss, Simone Favaro, Rob HarleyThe loose forward battle is always engrossing and these selections will make for prime time viewing.The two natural opensides, Watson and Favaro, are in superb form for club and country and promise a whirlwind of action at the breakdown.South Africa-born, Scotland-qualified, and both dedicated beard wearers at eight. De Preez and Strauss are capable of thrilling and bone-crunching in equal measure.Bradbury and Harley each got their chance at the blindside for Scotland in the autumn but their contrasting styles will suit Cotter for different situations and opponents.Bradbury is a carrying threat with an impressive gallop, as well as being a nuisance at the breakdown. Harley is a hard-hitter; a defensive technician with heavy involvement in the set piece.Verdict: Too close to callEdinburgh: Stuart McInally, Allan Dell, Murray McCallum, Fraser McKenzie, Bill Mata, Sean Kennedy, Jason Tovey, Glenn BryceGlasgow: Pat McArthur, Ryan Grant, Sila Puafisi, Adam Ashe, Chris Fusaro, Ali Price, Nick Grigg, Sean LamontIt is a 23-man game and the benches will be vital to victory.There is good depth to the forwards at Edinburgh and their front row will fancy their chances against the Warriors’ replacement three in the latter stages. Glasgow also go without a recognised second row on the bench.True to Gregor Townsend’s team’s reputation for attacking brilliance, having Price and Grigg up your sleeve to expose a tiring opponent could be the trump card. But only if Warriors are able to set the platform to play.Verdict: Edinburgh’s back-up muscle looks appealing The cards are on the table. We know the XVs who will face off against each other at Murrayfield on Boxing Day.The annual Scottish derbies between Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors to compete for the 1872 Cup have been strung out this year, with the second leg not taking place until the final weekend of the season, rather than the traditional New Year’s Day fixture.But the match still makes for fascinating viewing with youth given its chance alongside seasoned test players and club stalwarts.Here we analyse each area of the field and look at where the difference between the teams could lie. SNS Grouplast_img read more

Stratford softball outlasts Loyal/Granton

Stratford softball outlasts Loyal/Granton

first_imgTigers win third game in a rowBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterSTRATFORD — The Stratford softball team won its third-straight game, downing Loyal/Granton 5-1 in a nonconference tilt Tuesday at Hilgemann Field.Lorrie Luepke threw a complete-game two-hitter for the Tigers (3-1). She struck out three, walked three, and gave up just one run, that scored in the third inning by the Greyhounds (0-3).Brittany Bredemann went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a pair of RBIs to lead the Stratford offense.Stratford hosts Wisconsin Rapids Assumption in a Marawood Conference South Division game Friday.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Tigers 5, Greyhounds 1Loyal/Granton 001 000 0 – 1 2 2Stratford 030 110 x – 5 7 1WP: Lorrie Luepke. LP: Rowley.SO: Rowley 2; Luepke 3. BB: Rowley 1; Luepke 3.Top hitters: L, Parker 2B; Morgan Reinwand 2B, RBI. S, Brittany Bredemann 2×3, 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs; Sammy Kaiser 2B, 2 runs.Records: Loyal/Granton 0-3; Stratford 3-1.last_img read more

Relief at the pump for motorists

Relief at the pump for motorists

first_img4 June 2012 The price of all grades of petrol will decrease by 55 cents a litre this week, and could drop even further next month, according to Investment Solutions economist Chris Hart. The Department of Energy announced on Friday that a litre of 95 ULP (unleaded petrol) in Gauteng will cost R11.67 from Wednesday on the back of lower international prices.The price of diesel with a 0.05 sulphur content will decrease by 24.82 cents a litre. Diesel with a 0.005 percent sulphur content will also decrease by the same amount.The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin will drop by 21 cents a litre.The single maximum national retail price for illuminating paraffin will decrease by 28 cents a litre, and the maximum retail price for LP Gas by 99 cents a kilogram.The average international prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin had decreased, the department said.Economist Chris Hart said the drop in the international crude prices and the rand complemented each other.“The fuel prices have been going up relentlessly for the past year,” Hart said.“This is a nice relief, and it could well be that its followed up by further relief at the beginning of next month, because the global crude prices have actually come down even further.”Sapalast_img read more

Govt taking AG report seriously: Sisulu

Govt taking AG report seriously: Sisulu

first_img13 March 2013 Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has praised Auditor-General Terence Nombembe following the release of a 2011-12 audit showing a regression in government financial reporting, saying he was helping to lead “a decisive shift towards accountability in the financial matters of the state”. According to Nombembe’s latest audit, released on Tuesday, only 117 (or 22%) out of a total 536 audited government entities received a clean audit, including only three out of 38 national departments, for 2011-12. This was down from 132 clean audits in 2010-11 and from 152 in 2009-10. At a packed media briefing in Pretoria, the AG said that his office took comfort in the positive response from the government in its willingness to improve the situation.‘Good response from ministers, MECs’ “To a large extent what makes us comfortable is the response that we’re receiving in relation to the action that has happened since this report was out. This for us is important. We support the issue of how do we sustain the perfection of basic internal controls.” Nombembe said the issues raised in the report had been considered during discussions with ministers, provincial premiers and MECs. In the past, he said, it had been difficult to engage “with that layer of government”, but this had changed. “We’ve learnt of stumbling blocks which have given rise to the regression we’re talking about. We’re at a stage where we know what it is that is keeping us slightly backwards [and] what it is that we need to do to recover from that situation.” The AG said there was still a need to focus on service delivery, supply chain management and human resource management. “We’re still seeing a need to focus on these areas that required our previous concentration. The issue of service delivery is something whose administration in government still needs to be strengthened.”Govt ‘taking these issues seriously’ Sisulu, who was also present at Tuesday’s media briefing, congratulated Nombembe on his leadership. “Through his time of stewardship, we’ve seen a decisive shift towards accountability in the financial matters of the state,” Sisulu said, adding that the issues raised in the AG’s report, including the issue of procurement, were being taken seriously. Recent moves to bolster the public sector’s clean administration drive include the announcement of measures to re-skill public servants on the basics of the Public Finance Management Act, and Sisulu’s announcement that her department would soon introduce legislation banning public servants from doing business with the state. Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane told Tuesday’s briefing that the AG’s report was consistent with an assessment of 103 departments carried out by his department last year. The assessment had identified a number of areas that needed improvement, including the use of monitoring and evaluation to inform improvements to policies, programmes and service delivery. Chabane said his department would carry out these assessments on an annual basis, extending them to all departments in order to provide them with early of their weaknesses and to give them a better understanding of their challenges. Ministers had been instructed to ensure that their directors-general came up with plans to address challenges identified both by these assessments and in the AG’s reports. This, Chabane said, would enable the Cabinet to track whether management practices were improving in departments. SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more