PAC to begin work on AG Report

12 Jan 2020 admin

first_img…as Committee awaits presentation of 2015 reportThe Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly is expected to begin its work on the 2016 Auditor General Report in a matter of weeks, during which time the Government’s latest fiscal indiscretions will be put under the microscope.During an interview with Guyana Times, PAC member and Member of Parliament (MP), Juan Edghill related that work was still being done on the preceding 2015 Report. He noted that another meeting would have to be called at the Committee level to finalise the report.PAC member Juan EdghillEdghill explained that during the last sitting of Parliament, the Committee was able to clear the backlog of reports dating from eight years ago. As such, the Opposition-chaired PAC dispensed of the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Auditor General Reports. Regarding the 2015 Report, Edghill stated that it was close to completion.“That (2015) report is being prepared to send to the Parliament and the 2016 Auditor General Report, which was tabled in Parliament at the end of September, we’ll start examining now. Within weeks, the Public Accounts [Committee] should start moving (on that),” Edghill assured.Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Issacs“But we have to have a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, for them to bring the report to us and approve it. The Committee completed its work on the examination of the 2015 Report and it is now for the Clerk to do the write-up, format the report, and get our approval for it to be sent to the House.”Once the report is submitted, the Finance Ministry will have 90 days to account for the financial anarchy found by the Auditor General to have occurred since 2015 and documented in his report. This includes abuse of Guyana’s Contingency Fund and widespread overpayment of contractors.At the time of the examination, the Committee had been the scene of turmoil with several accounting officers having to be cautioned and evicted from the Parliament’s chambers for being untruthful to the Committee. In the wake of this, there was a major reshuffling of Permanent Secretaries among various Ministries.Efforts to contact Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs, were futile.2016 ReportThe 2016 Auditor General report had re-flagged the fact that the consolidated fund of Guyana was in overdraft. At the end of that year, the Fund reflected an overdraft of $67.5 billion and the cash book, $86 billion. In 2015, the Fund was overdrawn by $42.6 billion.According to the Auditor General, the difference of $18.5 billion between the bank and the cash book was due to a deposit of $6.7 billion not being debited to the cash book. There was also some $22.7 billion in unpresented cheques. It was also revealed that deposits totalling $5.3 billion were not credited to the bank account, while debit advances of $1.6 billion were not credited to the cash book.In its response, the Ministry affirmed that the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003 makes provisions for the account to be overdrawn in order to make up for cash shortfalls while implementing the Budget.last_img

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