AG presents 2010 audit report to Parliament
“A review of the operations of the National Board and National Procurement and Tender Administration is in its reporting stage and is expected to be completed shortly”, said Auditor General (ag), Deodat Sharma, at this year’s presentation of the Auditor General Report for 2010.
At the Parliament Building yesterday, the Audit Office of Guyana presented the report on the Public Accounts of Guyana and on the Accounts of the Ministries, Departments and Regions for the year 2010. This was in keeping with the statutory deadline (September 30, 2011) for the presentation of this report.
Sharma explained that for the year 2010, there have been notable improvements in many areas such as the closure of bank accounts that were recommended and in the tender board procedures; however one of the major concerns of the report is that of overpayment of contracts.
Kaieteur News understands that while there is adherence to some tender board procedures which may be a result of the fact that the Audit Office currently has three engineers who are “going out to check the works”, more needs to be done as it relates to the overpayment of contracts.
As it relates to recommendations this year, Sharma stated that there are the same recommendations for the improvement in the public accounts system as in the previous years. A lot of the recommendations have been documented in the “very thick” report this year. Recommendations are involved with the accounting cycle.
“When I present my report to the Public Accounts Committee they examine it and then there is a public accounts report. After that they submit that report to the National Assembly and out of that you have a Treasury Memorandum by the Government to take action”, Sharma said.
Since 1999, the Government had issued a Treasury Memorandum and the Public Accounts Committee have been successful in examining up to the year 2009 which is yet to be presented in Parliament.
According to Sharma, the committee is “up to date” since it will now be examining year 2010 and it is expected that as soon as the Treasury Memorandum comes out, the committee will be up to date in taking remedial action.
Kaieteur News understands that the planning for the interim audit for 2011 has already commenced and the Audit Office is aiming to continue meeting its statutory deadline.
While addressing the Value for Money Auditing, this newspaper was made to understand that an assessment of the Management and Control of Drugs and Medical Supplies at the Ministry of Health is in its execution stage and is expected to be completed in December 2011.
During the year 2010, the Audit Office embarked on introducing a risk-based approach to auditing. This includes all financial audits for 2010.
There has also been an improvement in the way which the office documents its audit work which is consistent with both the International Auditing Standard and best practices in the auditing profession.
This will result in quicker and more effective audits, which will assist in meeting the statutory deadline of September 30 for the audit of the Public Accounts of Guyana.
Meanwhile the office’s human resources have seen continuous improvements, with the Office expecting a staff complement of 190 by the end of 2013. In addition, the Office states that it will strive to improve on its yearly reporting and will continue to ensure that its audits are of the highest quality and standard.
Sharma added “a lot of improvements have been made; they have taken a lot of recommendations and are acting on it”.
Member of Parliament, Clarissa Riehl, expressed her appreciation that the Audit Office of Guyana met with its statutory deadline as she stated that this is one of the few times in which she could remember that the date set out was met.
She accepted the copy of the Auditor General’s report for 2010 as she explained that Parliament would be happy once the staffing of 190 is added to the Audit Office by the end of 2013, enhancing their capabilities and capacity for the workload.