PNC/R points to public accounts breaches
June 19, 2002
The People's National Congress REFORM (PNC/R) has highlighted some of
the discrepancies uncovered by the Office of the Auditor General in its 2000
report on the public accounts.
At the weekly PNC/R press conference last week, the party's central executive
committee member, Stanley Ming, listed a number of areas where the required
procedure was not followed.
Quoting from extracts of the report, Ming said on the cash position of
government the Auditor General stated: "The majority of bank accounts under
the control of Ministries, Departments and Regions had not been reconciled for
a considerable period of time. Some of them continued to be overdrawn by
significant amounts. This state of affairs is indeed regrettable because on a
number of occasions, new bank accounts would be reconciled within 30 days of
the close of the month. It should be mentioned that several alleged fraudulent
transactions were uncovered over the years, facilitated by the failure to reconcile
the related bank accounts."
Ming quoted the Auditor General as saying in a review of the operations of the
central tender board: "In my previous reports, reference was made to the need
for a complete reorganisation of the operations of the central tender board to
reflect membership from outside the public service, e.g. the professional
engineering bodies, trade unions, the consumers' association and the University
of Guyana. However, it is again disappointing to note that no action was taken
to implement this recommendation."
On the key findings relating to Ministries/ Departments/Regions, the Auditor
General said; "There were numerous breaches in the tender board regulations at
the Supreme Court of Judicature. In particular, there was evidence of contract
splitting to avoid adjudication by the departmental and central tender boards. In
addition, several instances of apparent misappropriation of funds were
uncovered in Georgetown and other magisterial districts due to the absence of
proper segregation of duties and failure to reconcile bank accounts."
He continued: "In relation to the Ministry of Agriculture, the basis of the award
of several contracts adjudicated by the central tender board could not be
determined because of the unavailability of the related files.
A number of statutory bodies in receipt of subventions from the ministry were
also significantly in arrears in terms of financial reporting."
He added: "At the Ministry of Education, the main bank account was improperly
used to make advances, and at the time of reporting, 394 advances totalling
$40.387 million remained outstanding. There were also 494 payment vouchers
valued at $129.385 million which were not presented for audit examination."
The other extract from the Auditor General's report quoted by Ming was: "In
relation to the Ministry of Public Works, a number of irregularities were
uncovered mainly in relation to building contracts.
An official of the ministry was in collusion with certain contractors, and in a
number of cases there were overpayments on the contracts..."