Findings of 2011 Auditor General Report… Govt. launches probe of irregularities at Regional level
Local Government and Regional Development Minister, Ganga Persaud, has expressed dissatisfaction over the number of irregularities which have been unearthed in the Auditor General’s 2011 report.
During a press briefing yesterday at the Ministry’s Kingston Office, the Minister maintained that much effort is being placed at the Ministerial level to ensure the irregularities are eliminated.
The Ministry, according to a government report, said it is in receipt of copies of the report and is currently engaging each regional administration.
“The Ministry has taken a proactive approach in dealing with these issues, because some of these issues are ones that would have been found in previous reports coming out from the Auditor General….We are dissatisfied that we haven’t found the solutions to correct some of these issues, particularly those that are on the repeat list,” he said.
As such, Permanent Secretary Collin Croal and Deputy Permanent Secretary Abena Moore will commence meetings from November 7, with regional officials, to iron out discrepancies unearthed in the report.
Minister Persaud has requested written responses from Regional Officials found guilty of non-compliance.
“We are going to ensure that those who have failed to execute their duties, in keeping with established principles and procedures… that they are brought to the book. We cannot allow these kinds of behaviour and practice to continue,” Minister Persaud said.
In the past, the Ministry initiated a principle of allowing Regional Executive Officers to make submission on behalf of the various departments. However, this has not been proven effective, as irregularities are still being unearthed.
The team is expected to complete its report by November 30.
On October 25, a team of Regional Executive Officers and Minister Persaud met with President Donald Ramotar at Office of the President, when an update on Auditor General’s report and 2012 works programme were highlighted.
The officers were encouraged to strive for efficiency and effectiveness and to adhere to the necessary procurement and financial regulations, all in the interest of accountability and transparency. Issues like overpayments and accounting irregularities were contained in the state auditor’s report which was released last week.