Auditor General in `historic' report presentation
Guyana Chronicle
May 3, 2002

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AUDITOR General, Mr. Anand Goolsarran yesterday handed over his report for the year 2000 to Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Ralph Ramkarran, calling it an "historic" occasion.

Goolsarran said that for many years financial institutions have been expressing concern about the Auditor General's Office not functioning in an independent manner and persisted that reforms be implemented to end this lack of independence.

He said the deviation in presenting the report to the Speaker of the National Assembly, instead of to the Minister of Finance, represents a step in the reforms leading to an independent Auditor General's Office.

This change was accommodated by constitutional amendments, he said, noting that yesterday's presentation was as an "historic one" because of the change.

The Auditor General said the presentation of the report last year was hampered by several factors, including the post-elections disturbances and staff turnover.

Despite these problems, he said his staff worked conscientiously to ensure the report was satisfactorily compiled.

Goolsarran said his recommendations include greater use of technology in financial systems and more up to date financial models to simplify the entire financial system currently in use.

The Speaker, on receiving the report, assured that it will be diligently brought before Parliament in the shortest possible time and was optimistic that Members of Parliament will do their job of scrutinising the document.

He is also satisfied that steps are being implemented to make the Auditor General's Office independent.

Following approval by Parliament, the report will become a public document.

Ramkarran told the Chronicle he would be working towards the earliest presentation of the report to Parliament.

However, he pointed that this would depend on how early the supply of electricity is restored to Parliament Buildings.

The system in the electrical room of the complex was damaged last week and a fire that developed was quickly brought under control.