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Wednesday, 08 June 2016 17:45

Auditor General flags $2.6M in accounting discrepancies from Office of the President

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The Auditor General's Report for fiscal 2015 has flagged the Office of the President for $2.6 million in accounts discrepancies.

This was revealed at Wednesday's Public Accounts Committee Meeting to discuss the Report of the Auditor General for Fiscal 2015.

PAC Member Randall Mitchell said: "I can tell you that I didn't expect the Office of the President to be here identified as an individual area of concern but at Paragraph 2.42, you indicated that there were 85 instances of incorrect classification of expenditure totaling $2.6 million."

Assistant Auditor General Gaitrie Maharaj noted that some relate to household and office expenses as well as travel.

"Official travel expenses posted as Official Travel rather than maybe Vacation Travel which relates to the personal emoluments of the office holder."

The Committee also heard that certain High Commissions including London, Ottowa and New Delhi cannot fully account for expenses.

According to Auditor General Majeed Ali, the three High Commissions and the Overseas Mission in Brazil have gaps in inventory for everything from furniture to vehicle log books.

"What I think needs to be done here is a lot of training. The staff who is on those assignments need to be trained about preparing a fixed asset register, tagging all the inventory, having all the proper documentation."

But because the Auditor General cannot access any information from the Board of Inland Revenue, he could not speak to the completeness of the books.

Thus, the Attorney General's Office is pursuing a matter which involves $47 billion in revenue from taxes, incomes and profits which have marked as arrears and suspended.

PAC Chairman Dr. Bhoe Tewarie said: "When I see $47 billion, which is almost the size of our annual budget, in arrears, I mean that is plenty money and to have it in suspension and not available to the State, it seems to me as a problem."

Aside from a lack of access to records in some cases and non-compliance in others, the Auditor General's Office does not have enough resources to conduct audits.

The Auditor General said his Office is understaffed by 100 persons and needs to fill the vacancies in order to handle the volume of work.

Read 491 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 09:17
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