…Forensic audit report finds
Forensic auditors have discovered that the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest) has been doctoring its financial records so as to avoid returning unspent subventions to the national purse.
The auditors, who are attached to Nigel Hinds Financial Services, said that this unsavoury practice by Go-Invest was a clear violation of Guyana’s financial laws, specifically the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMA). The forensic auditors articulated that Section 43 of the FMA Act requires that all unexpended balances of public monies issued out of the Consolidated Fund be returned.
Based on their investigations, the team discovered that Go-Invest avoided returning unspent funds to the Treasury through various means. These included the creation of accounts payable transactions, issued cheques on or before December 31 and subsequently cancelled the cheques in the following year or allowed the cheques to become stale dated to retain access to funds that should have been remitted to the Consolidated Fund.
Providing further details in this regard, the auditors said on December 30, 2011 Cheque#163189974 for the sum of $8,097,108 was written in favour of the Guyana Office for Investment. The auditors said that this cheque was eventually cancelled by way of JV# 35/12/2012 on December 31, 2012 reason being that the cheque was stale dated.
In another instance, the auditors pointed out that on December 31, 2012 Cheque#16379221 for the sum of $30,628,301 was written in the name of Go-Invest. This cheque was cancelled on October 1, 2013, reason being that it was stale dated.
The forensic auditors said, “The Bank Balances for both years were misleading. The 2011balance was $8M less than it really was, and the 2012 was $30.6M less that it really was. This is clear evidence of the management of Go-Invest manipulating its records to avoid unspent subventions from being returned to the Treasury.”
The forensic team also found that during the period 2011-2014, the Agency received from the Consolidated Fund, a total of $412M in subventions. For the same period, the auditors said that unspent subventions refunded to the Consolidated Fund amounted to $3.89 million. Yet the balance in the Agency’s Bank Account at December 31, 2014 was $34.34 million.
The auditors said that here again, there is clear evidence that the management of the Agency was not remitting unspent subventions.
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