Millions in overpayments for 2022 recovered except in Regions 1, 10 – AG report

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For the first time, millions of dollars in overpayments in eight of the 10 administrative regions were recovered in 2022 without any disputes, Auditor General (AG) Deodat Sharma said in his Audit Report for the ensuing period.

The Audit Office of Guyana examined a total of 466 contracts for the year under review and found overpayments amounting to $52.8 million were made for measured works on 33 contracts administered at the levels of both central government and the regional administrations.

Sums totalling $14.1 million were in relation to ministries of which the entire amount was recovered at the time of reporting, whilst sums totalling $38.6 million was in relation to Regions 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 10 of which $17.1 million still remained outstanding.

These outstanding amounts are for projects in Regions 1 and 10.

“It should be noted for the year 2022, except for Regions 1 and 10, all overpayments were recovered. This is the first time these overpayments were not disputed,” the AG said in his report.

Auditor General, Deodat Sharma

Overpayment has been a sore and recurring issue in audit reports which continues to be flagged at meetings of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.

Engineers and other officials are called upon to ensure that this does not persist but despite this, millions are still overpaid on contracts every year.

Some of those unscrupulous practices that contribute to this include writing cheques for works not yet completed.

While there is need for physical verification of projects, payments are, sometimes, approved and processed in excess of the work done.

This has led to a call for more training for engineers and officials involved in the process

 

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