2019 Auditor General Report: Discrepancies at Police Force, Drainage Authority flagged
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) continued its examination of the 2019 Auditor General’s report on Monday and in so doing, flagged accounting discrepancies at agencies it examined.
At the morning session, both Government and Opposition Parliamentarians highlighted shortcomings at the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA).
It was noted that the agency does not have an asset register that details all of the fixed assets, such as equipment, owned by the NDIA.
As such, Government Chief Whip Gail Teixeira and Opposition Parliamentarian Juretha Fernandes both called for the agency to correct this with much alacrity, given that this is a document the agency is mandated to keep.
It was later clarified that the agency does have a central fixed asset register, though there may be some shortcomings with record-keeping at the regional level.
The NDIA, like other bodies that fall under the Ministry of Agriculture, came under fire for extended delays in submitting annual reports that would help the relevant authorities assess the body’s operations.
Opposition Parliamentarian Ganesh Mahipaul then pleaded with the body to submit annual reports, including financial statements, in a timely manner.
“… we haven’t seen annual reports for these agencies for a long time,” Teixeira lamented.
In the afternoon session, further discrepancies at the Ministry of Public Security (which has now been renamed the Ministry of Home Affairs) were addressed.
In one instance, it was noted that four contracts totalling $123.3 million were awarded to the same supplier in December 2019. However, before the items were supplied, the full contract sums were paid. It was also noted that the supplier did not supply the items during the stipulated time.
Deputy Commissioner ‘Administration’ Calvin Brutus disclosed that the company, MS Trading, had eventually delivered all of the items purchased.
Nevertheless, Teixeira and Government Parliamentarian Dharamkumar Seeraj highlighted that these breaches of Guyana’s procurement laws should not have occurred in the first place.