A forensic audit of the company that publishes the state paper, the Guyana Chronicle has found that there was poor oversight of trade receivables with $102M outstanding at the end of May 2015.
The then Board of Directors was criticised in the report for not discharging its duties.
The audit was carried out by the accounting firm Parmesar and covered the period November 1st, 2011 to May 2015. It was one of a series ordered by the APNU+AFC government.
The audit report seen by Stabroek News said that the Guyana National Newspapers Limited (GNNL), publishers of the Chronicle had large outstanding balances for all the years reviewed as follows: $59m at the end of 2011, $71.5m at the end of 2012; $85.5m at the end of 2013, $90.9m at the end of 2014 and $102m up to the end of May 2015. The report added that there is insufficient evidence to “confirm that significant efforts were made to collect the debts outstanding”.
The major debtor is the state-run Government Information Agency to the tune of $74m for advertisements for several government agencies. The audit report said that there is no evidence that GNNL made efforts to recover the debt.
Police Consumers owes $2.5m as at May 31 and the audit report said that there was no evidence that the company made efforts to recover the debt. The same was said to be the case with Kirk Wynter who owes $2.5m. State broadcaster, National Communications Network owes $1.58m as at May 31, 2015 and there was no evidence of an attempt to recover the debt.
Reamos advertising agency owes $1.49m and again there was no effort to recover this debt as was the case with Colin Edghill at $808,634.
Amounts are outstanding from several other advertising agencies and these balances are current and as a result of the normal course of business.
The auditor noted that there was no internal auditor and called for an internal audit department to be set up and managed by a chartered accountant.
In its section on governance, the audit report said that in the opinion of the auditor the two boards that served over the review period did not execute its duties with due diligence, care and prudence.
The report pointed out that the last statutory audit of the financial statements was completed for the year December 31st, 2013. It also said that there was poor oversight for receivables.
The report further said that all gas bills were reviewed for the period under study and it was noticed that gas was supplied to several vehicles that were not owned by GNNL.