Accounts for key gov’t agencies still backlogged

-Treasury Memo promises progress

Government has issued its formal response to the 2009 Auditor General’s report and has provided assurances on long backlogged financial statements for a number of state entities.

The Treasury Memorandum dated June 19, 2013 was tabled in the National Assembly on Friday and sets out the measures that the government intends to take on the shortcomings pointed out by the Office of the Auditor General on the 2009 public accounts.

The last year that the Government Information Agency was audited was 2006. The memorandum said that efforts are being made to have the 2006 report laid in the National Assembly. The 2007 report was finalized by the Auditor General while the 2008 to 2011 statements are finished and have been tendered to the Auditor General’s Department. The financial statement for 2012 is now being prepared.

Critics have lambasted the government for allowing state agencies to be so far backlogged, querying how money provided from the budget annually could be properly accounted for.

State TV, NCN’s last audit report was for the year 2009. The memorandum said that “efforts are being made to have the 2008 and 2009 reports laid in the National Assembly”. It further said that the 2010 and 2011 statements have been prepared and submitted to the Auditor General’s Office for audit. The financial statement for 2012 is now being done. NCN was at the centre of a financial scandal last year that saw top officials being ensnared. An investigation was initiated by the board and an auditor was invited to do a report on irregularities. The report has been with President Donald Ramotar for many months but not acted on.

The Guyana Energy Agency’s last year of audit was 2007. The memorandum said that steps are being taken to have the 2007 report tabled in parliament. Further, the reports for 2008-9 were finalized in April this year while 2010 was completed in May this year by the Auditor General.

2010 was the last year that the Guyana Office for Investment had an audit report prepared. The memorandum said that efforts are being made to have the 2009 and 2010 report presented in the National Assembly. The 2011 report was concluded by the Auditor General in February this year.. The agency is presently preparing the 2012 report.

The Guyana Lands and Survey Commission’s last audit report was in 2008. The memorandum disclosed that efforts are being made  for the 2007 and 2008 reports to be laid in the National Assembly. The 2009 report was concluded in April this year by the Auditor General. The 2010 to 2011 draft financial statements have already been tendered to the Auditor General’s Department for audit. The 2012 statement is now being done.

2007 was the last year that the National Parks Commission was audited. The memorandum said that steps are being taken for the 2007   report to be tabled in the National Assembly. “The reports for 2008 to 2010  are awaiting finalization by the Auditor General. Drafts for 2011 and 2012 have been completed…”

The Institute of Applied Science and Technology’s last audit report was for the year 2003. According to the memo, efforts are being for the 2003 accounts to be presented in Parliament. The reports for the years 2004 to 2011 have been completed and delivered to the Auditor General’s office.

The Integrity Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also have backlogged accounts. The EPA’s last audit report was for 2010. The memorandum said that efforts were being made to have the 2009 and 2010 reports tabled in the National Assembly.

It is also awaiting the delivery of the 2011 audit report from the Auditor General’s office. The memorandum said that the 2012 draft was now being concluded. The last audited report for the Integrity Commission was in 2011. The Memorandum added that the draft for the 2012 report was being finalized.

In recent years the treasury memorandum has been criticized for perfunctory comments on serious deficiencies pointed out by the Auditor General’s office and discussed at the level of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.

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