Jun 21, 2016 News
A Forensic Audit and Review into the operations of the Ministry of Education Department of Culture Youth and Sports, Art Development Fund, for the period January 1, 2012 to May 31, 2015, has revealed several instances where millions of dollars allocated by Cabinet for specific expenditure were misallocated and utilised for purposes for which they were not intended.
The objective of the Forensic Audit was to ascertain whether there was value for money in the use of Funds; the accuracy of record keeping and the degree of accountability.
The Auditors sated that the audit was conducted in accordance with International Auditing Standards and Best Practices.
The audit took into consideration the establishment and maintenance of critical accounting records along with the internal control structure that supported the administration of the Fund that would allow the auditor to access whether it forms a reliable basis for transparency and accountability.
For 2012, the auditors recorded 14 instances of misallocation amounting to $11,753,600 while in 2014, there were 21 instances amounting to $8,072,926.
The auditors recorded two specific instances totalling $2,875,540, which were paid from the monies that were allocated to Sports and Arts development fund from the consolidated fund and transferred to project account.
These two instances were two 20-ton compressors for National Cultural Centre (NCC) and the other was for the replacement of a damaged expansion unit/code and one digital station module to the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport (MCYS) Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system.
However, provision for the purchase of the compressors was made under “capital head” 7011- Purchase of Equipment for NCC under 1205600- Cultural Centre, while the purchase of PBX system was provided for under – Purchase of equipment for MCYS – 1206600- Cultural Centre.
Meanwhile, the report also highlighted three instances where monies were being paid from the fund to carry out works at the Castellani House, Vlissengen Road, despite the House having its own approved budgetary allocations.
Contract number 882; dated May 26, 2014 saw the awarding of $172,000 under the authority of the Head of Budget Agency for the Cleaning of Compound and clearing of Large Concrete Garbage Bin at Castellani House.
The auditors also recorded that on November 7, 2014, a sum of $996,000 was paid for the repairs to the eastern walls, construction of flooring for the storeroom at Castellani House.
Once again, monies were being paid from the fund although the Castellani House had its own approved budgetary allocations.
The third instance was the contract for the sum of $349,102, which was paid from the Sports and Art Development Fund to Massy Security (Guyana) Inc. for Baton Security Services for Castellani House, for October and November 2014.
The auditors stated that the payment was within the Ministerial limit for contracts, and would have required the authority of the Ministerial Tender Board, however, no such authority was seen or indicated on the payment voucher, sub- vouchers or documents in support of the transaction, nor a contract to support the payment made to the Security Company.
The Sports and Arts Development Fund was established by the Government of Guyana in 2007. The aim of the Fund is to advocate, develop and invest in culture and sports to enrich the lives of Guyanese. In so doing, the Government of Guyana has allocated annually an amount in the sum of $100M to a Fund that was established for the development of sports and art.
An executive decision-making committee was created within the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports with responsibility for the administration of the Fund.
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