Poor contractor performance, delinquent tax filings & overpayments among issues in 2021 audit report

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Auditor General Deodat Sharma flagged several concerns in his 2021 report including poor contractor performance, delinquent tax filings and some overpayments.

During the period under review, the report noted that three key contracts were terminated.

Those were the $25 million contract for the Imbaimadai police station, the $33 million contract for a primary school at Waramadong and a $24.8 million contract for the rehabilitation of Lola street, Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

The AG noted that these contracts were all terminated “due to poor performance by the Contractor.”

Another sore issue highlighted in the report was that self-employed people continue to be delinquent in filing their income tax returns with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

During 2021, more than three-quarters of the registrants did not file their returns. That is, 87,267 people (or about 76% per cent) of the 114,838 registrants did not file those returns.

Only 27,211 registration (or 24 per cent) filed their returns. Those returns totalled $4.054 billion.

Finally, the recurring issue of overpayments on contracts was highlighted.

Of the 411 contracts examined, overpayments amounting to $59.9 million were made on measured works on 37 contracts administered by government ministries and regions in 2021. Of that sum, $14.8 million were in relation to various ministries, but the entire amount was notably recovered at the time of reporting.

In the regions, however, $38.1 million were overpaid with $21 million still outstanding in four projects for Regions Seven, Nine and 10.

Several other issues, replete with their details and recommendations for improvements, were included in the 695-page audit report.

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