OP accused of misrepresenting internal agencies
The Office of the President is still proving to be delinquent in its finances according to the Auditor General’s report.
In his report for the Fiscal Year 2009 the AG examined the accounts and records of the various Government Agencies. His investigation of the Office of the President revealed that for at least the fourth year running three agencies have been misrepresented as Local Organisations rather than as departments under the Office of the President.
Through that misrepresentation funds were paid out to these agencies and according to the AG’s report, “… were inappropriately charged as Subsidies and Contributions to Local Organisations.” The three agencies are the Presidential Guard, Castellani House and Joint Intelligence Coordinating Agency.
The AG states that “the inclusion of this sum materially misrepresents subsidies and contributions paid for the period under review.”
Apparently the Finance Secretary has been engaged in attempts to ‘rectify the situation’ for several years now, since every AG report from 2006 to the present state that the Secretary is ‘engaged’ in correcting the situation.
Meanwhile every year, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are included as expenditure under this sub-head. This year the sum comes to $236.6M.
The recommendation of the Auditor General in this instance was for the Office of the President to follow up with the Ministry of Finance with a view to ensuring that specific programmes are allocated to all operational units under the present programme budgeting arrangements.
A number of statutory agencies that come under the control of the Office of the President were also a matter of contention for the AG.
According to the report, the Office of the President is still to lay reports in the National Assembly for these agencies.
Included among them are the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST), last audited in 2002; the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), last audited in 2004; and the Government Information Agency (GINA) last audited in 2004 as well.