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Sep 12, 2016 News
Despite the possession of perhaps the best legislative and regulatory frameworks, anti-corruption advocate, Anand Goolsarran believes that the country remains weighed down by a lack of accountability for corrupt behaviour.
Goolsarran said that the nation has all the laws, rules, regulations and policy directives but they are not being followed.
He noted that the Fiscal Management and Accountability (FMA) Act of 2003 is a powerful piece to legislation. If implemented in its entirety and with a serious commitment, he believes that it can assure the highest standards of public accountability.
The Chartered Accountant said that this Act outlines all the procedures from budget preparation to the incurrence of expenditure to financial reporting and audit, including the role of accounting officers, as well as sanctions for any violation. The former Auditor General said that the FMA Act also deals with how both the Consolidated Fund and the Contingencies Fund are to be used.
Furthermore, Goolsarran said that the Audit Office Act of 2004 picks up from where the FMA Act left off.
He said that this Act outlines the detailed procedures to be followed in the auditing of the Public Accounts, enhances the independence of the Audit Office, and insulates the Auditor General from political pressures.
He noted that when the Act was drafted during his tenure as Auditor General, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) considered it a model legislation for Supreme Audit Institutions worldwide.
Goolsarran said, too, that legislation governing public procurement is about the best one can have. He said that this is in the form of the Procurement Act of 2003 and the constitutional amendment of 2001 relating to the establishment of the Procurement Commission.
The Chartered Accountant also mentioned the Integrity Commission Act of 1997 which he said is also a model legislation.
In addition to this, the anticorruption advocate said that Guyana is a signatory to both the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.
With those facts in mind, Goolsarran said that his assessment leaves him to conclude that despite the possession of perhaps the best legislative and regulatory frameworks as well as policy directives to assure the highest standards of public accountability, the country remains plagued by a significant degree of lack of accountability for corrupt behaviour.
“This also leads me to conclude that a crisis of leadership exists at all levels in government.”
Goolsarran stressed that good and effective leadership will demand adherence without compromise to all of the nation’s legislative, regulatory and policy directives, and the slightest deviation is met with the full force of sanctions and disciplinary actions provided for under these frameworks.
Goolsarran said that where corrupt behaviour and mismanagement of public resources are concerned, good and effective leaders are indifferent to the violators. He stressed that the only consideration is the public’s interest and the public’s interest alone.
“Those who worked under the late President Desmond Hoyte know this to be true.”
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