Some ministries yet to transfer unused sums to Consolidated Fund -Auditor General report 2005

The Auditor General’s Report 2005 says that ministries whose accounts have not yet been closed must continue the process to reconcile their accounts and transfer all outstanding balances to the Consolidated Fund.

According to the report, $7.126 billion is being held in accounts and are transferable to the Fund. The report said that under Section 36 of the Financial Administration and Audit Act all unspent amounts released to ministries, departments and regions must be put back into the Fund at the end of the year. “However, it is evident from the large balances in the various Ministries’ active and inactive bank accounts that transfers were not being made over the years. The main reason for this most unsatisfactory state of affairs, indeed a serious breach of the Law, was the general failure to reconcile bank accounts so as to be able to establish accurate balances at the end of the year for the purpose of effecting such transfers,” the report said.

In 2004 report, the auditor general had recommended that the finance ministry issue the necessary directive to all heads of budget agencies, instructing them to ensure that all bank accounts under their control are reconciled so that the accounts could be closed and balances transferred to the Fund.

The report said that in previous reports, the auditor general had recommended that the ministry urgently review the status of a number of accounts and the extent that it could be established that the funds held in them are transferable to the Fund. Some of these accounts concern grant aid funds from the World Bank provided for the settlement of arrears of the Bank of Guyana (BoG) External Payments Deposit Scheme, which came to an end in 1999.

The report said that according to Section 51 of the FMA Act, public money at the credit of the Fund shall be kept in an account styled the “Official Consolidated Fund Account” at the BoG. The report said that the bank account which is numbered 01610000407 was established in January 2004 with a transfer of $5 billion from the old Consolidated Bank Account and is styled “Accountant General for Government of Guyana Consolidated Fund” in contravention of the Act. The report said that the account was reconciled for the period under review and reflected a balance of $6.098 billion.

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