The Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC) expressed disappointment that it was not contacted on an article carried in yesterday’s edition of this newspaper, which said that the entity is behind in having its audited Financial Statements laid in the National Assembly.
Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram had stated that the Director and Board of the company should be sanctioned for such an “unacceptable act.”
In an attempt to justify its position, the entity through a public missive explained that the Audit Office of Guyana (AOG) is the legal entity responsible for the auditing of the DHBC Financial Statements. In adhering to this legal requirement, it said that the DHBC had submitted its Financial Statements to the AOG office for the years 2010 to 2013.
The Corporation provided the status of those statements for the respective years. For the year 2010, it said that the audit is complete and a report has been issued.
It was confirmed that this report was not laid in the Assembly.
Further, for 2011, the audit was completed but the AG’s Audited Report is to be issued. For the years 2012 and 2013, those have not yet been audited.
It noted that it was aware that the AG had advertised for the audit of the 2012 Financial Statements to be contracted out.
Yesterday, General Manager of the Corporation, Rawlston Adams expressed his disappointment to this newspaper that he was not contacted for a response.
Adams was then informed that calls were made to his office prior to the publication of the article, but these proved futile.
The General Manager explained that he is “not in control of what goes on at the Auditor General’s Office when the reports are submitted.”
He said, “We do our best to honour our obligations and when we submit it, it is now the AG’s office to do its job.”
Asked whether the company’s financial statements were submitted on time, Adams said, “Of course. We always submit our reports on time.”
He was then asked whether he is now laying the blame of not having its reports before the Parliament at the feet of the Auditor General. To this he responded, “No I am not saying that, I am simply saying that we do our part where submitting reports to the AG is concerned and again, I say that we always do so on time. After that, it is up to the AG. What do you want us to do after that when we have done our part?”
Calls were made to the Auditor General, Deodat Sharma yesterday but those as well turned out to be futile.
However, an official at the AG’s office painted a different picture with regard to the Corporation’s statements.
The Official said, “I am not permitted to say too much on this, but one should really question why is it that there are other agencies whose reports are up to date and laid in the Parliament. I don’t like the impression that is being given by Adams. He seems to be insinuating that we are inefficient. I do not take too nicely to that. Additionally, they have submitted their reports late.”
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Carl Greenidge also gave his opinion on Adams’ response.
Greenidge said, “Listen, there is no excuse for this. Their reports are supposed to be laid in the Assembly and they are supposed to be up to date. So that doesn’t matter. The blame game will not make it here. And we should not allow ourselves to be embroiled in that.”
“They have an obligation to ensure that their report is in the Assembly and if they were submitting their reports on time, their 2009 audited financial statements would not be laid only last year.”
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