After years of ongoing discrepancies, the Guyana Police Force has finally put a cap on the amount of bail money that can be held at stations.
This was revealed in the Government’s Treasury Memorandum that was laid in the National Assembly last week. It provides the steps that the government intends to take to correct the weaknesses of its systems to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayers’ dollars.
Every year, the Auditor General has highlighted in his annual reports that the Guyana Police Force needs to take corrective action when it comes to bail money that is not properly accounted for at certain stations. But it appears that this will come to an end as the Police Force has put a ceiling of $25,000 as the amount of bail money that can be kept at a station.
The Auditor General’s report for 2010 and 2011 notes that from a sample of eight police stations that spanned three operational Divisions, there were four stations where discrepancies in relation to bail money were unearthed during the reporting period. The reports said that the Sparendaam Police Station was also affected by another cash discrepancy of $51,000. In the year 2009, a shortage of bail monies lodged at the Kitty Police Station in the amount of $58,500 was also noted. This amount remains outstanding to date.
The Public Accounts Committee has also made other recommendations to improve transparency and accountability in the force and these were implemented.
In this regard, the Police Force noted that it has adjusted its vehicle management procedures, which will include weekly vehicle inspection and submission of returns. It noted that ranks found guilty of non-adherence to the Standing Order applicable to the use of vehicles would be subjected to disciplinary charges.
The Guyana Police Force also noted that an internal audit and inspection department has been setup as part of its mandate. It said that this is in response to the Committee’s recommendation that a periodic review be conducted to evaluate the progress of the system after it has been revised.
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