Training, capacity building needed for regional auditors – IIA Chairman

first_img2016 Auditor General ReportWith several accounting officers admitting before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) when it recently met to various financial infractions, concerns are being raised that this points to a systemic lack of standards.In an interview with Guyana Times, financial consultant John Seeram noted that capacity building among the various regional administrations would go a far way to minimising the flagrant abuses identified in the Auditor General’s 2016 report.Seeram, who is also the Chairman of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Guyana chapter, acknowledged that the administrations of the 10 Regions have internal auditors. At the same time, he questioned their efficiency.Institute of Internal Auditors Chairman John Seeram“They need more training. And in so doing, they must be able to know that they must work along with management in order to meet the financial goals of the Region. And that is where the Institute of Internal Auditors come in, because we normally mount at least three to four seminars a year on pertinent topics relating to the practice of accounting and auditing in the public service.“And I believe that once they attend those seminars, that could be a way of professional development for our internal auditors. As it stands right now, I would venture to say that there is need for more training for the internal auditors so as to minimise the comments made by the Auditor General in his report,” Seeram stated.Fiscal abuseRecently, a showdown had ensued at the PAC between Committee Chairman Irfaan Ali and Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson over the Region Two administration’s financial indiscretions.Prior to the meeting, Hopkinson had made an official response to the 2016 Audit Report’s findings. Ali had pointed to a number of disturbing trends from the explanations. He cited a section of the foreword of Hopkinson’s response, where he noted the administration was not disputing it used current allocations to fund capital projects.Under fire from Ali, the REO had claimed that these were all projects of an emergency nature. At this point, Ali had slammed Hopkinson for being aware of breaches to the law yet going ahead with the projects out of the belief that they were in the best interest of the Region.The projects included the construction of a bus shed at Dartmouth, construction of the Anna Regina Health Centre, construction of a fence at Unity Park Phase One, construction of a fence at Unity Park Phase Two, and construction of a sitting area at Cotton Field and landing at Liberty, Pomeroon.Hopkinson’s contention is that the works were of an emergency nature, requested from the heads of programmes within the regional administration. In his official response, he has also stressed that the projects would have benefited residents.Notably, Hopkinson, in his explanation, had stated: “We seek pardon for any contravention of policy, on the grounds that the Region saved $500 million from 2016 to date… on this score, the administration of Pomeroon-Supenaam Region is of the opinion that the Region should be commended for its judicious spending of Government budgetary allocations…in the face of a culture of dishonesty.”City Hall was also placed in the limelight earlier this year after complaints from Auditor General Deodat Sharma over his inability to access certain documents during a previous audit. Following threats to seek criminal charges, the Council provided these documents at a subsequent PAC meeting.Under a barrage of questions, City Treasurer Ron McAlmont had resolutely refused to provide an explanation for the delay in the handing over of information auditors have been after since the initial audit in 2017.The Audit Office of Guyana had found that as at December 31, 2016, $396.5 million was expended. From the start, City Hall’s financial status, how it spent almost $175 million and its failure to submit documentation dating from 2005 posed a challenge to the PAC.Then, the PAC had clashed with the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) last month over the fact that a programme that was approved by the National Assembly was revised despite works already commencing.GWI Executive Director for Project Implementation, Ramchand Jailal had faced the brunt of questioning from the PAC. He related that during 2016, the original programme was revised.While GWI and the Communities Ministry had held out that no wrongdoing was done when it revised the terms of the Hinterland Water Supply programme, the Auditor General had informed them of their liability in the matter.“Mr Chair, that’s a breach of the Fiscal Act. The FMA [Fiscal Management and Accountability] Act says unspent balances must be refunded to the Consolidated Fund. But you only got the approval on 29 of December. So you are covering yourself afterwards. So that’s a breach,” Sharma had explained.PAC Chairman Ali has already made calls for harsher penalties for those who commit financial crimes, besides what the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act already provides for.last_img read more

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NFL caps

first_img JAGUARS40 TITANS13 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville avoided another slow start and gained some much-needed momentum for the postseason. The Jaguars did it in surprising fashion, too, not needing a comeback thanks to the early work of David Garrard. The Jaguars scored 27 points in the first half for their eighth win in the last nine games. Although all eight victories came against teams with losing records, this one felt much different than others in recent weeks. After trailing in the second half in each of the last four games, Jacksonville (12-4) scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, took advantage of two turnovers and essentially sealed the victory on Derrick Wimbush’s 6-yard TD run with 4:11 remaining in the second quarter. The Jaguars already had clinched the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs and learned early in the game they will play at two-time defending champion New England (10-6) on Saturday night. Tennessee finished 4-12. KEY NUMBER: 102 Yards rushing Sunday for Jaguars running back LaBrandon Toefield, a career high. MISC: The Titans committed a franchise-record 18 penalties for 140 yards, and rookie cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones was benched by coach Jeff Fisher after he argued with an official during a timeout. BROWNS20 RAVENS16 CLEVELAND – Dennis Northcutt’s 62-yard punt return helped the Browns win their sixth game under first-year coach Romeo Crennel. Earlier this season, Northcutt twice brought back punts for TDs that were nullified by penalties. After his third-quarter jaunt, he checked to be certain there were no penalty flags and waved his arms like an official. It was the first win in the AFC North for the Browns (6-10), who were embarrassed 41-0 by Pittsburgh a week ago. They finished with two more victories under Crennel than they had in 2004. The Ravens (6-10) had won their two previous games, leading owner Steve Bisciotti to say coach Brian Billick would be back next season. KEY NUMBER: 11 Consecutive losses on the road for the Ravens MISC: Deion Sanders, Baltimore’s fleet-footed “Prime Time” cornerback, may retire at the age of 38, ending his career as one of the game’s most gifted and flamboyant personalities. JETS30 BILLS26 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Justin Miller returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown with 5:58 remaining, and Ty Law had three interceptions. After Buffalo went ahead on Rian Lindell’s 36-yard field goal, Miller took the ensuing kickoff and tiptoed down the sideline, finally providing the special teams score the Jets (4-12) lacked all season. Buffalo (5-11) had one final shot with 47 seconds left, but Law intercepted Kelly Holcomb’s deep heave. Bills owner Ralph Wilson promised changes after the loss leaving general manager Tom Donahoe’s job in jeopardy. When asked about the job Donahoe has done, Wilson skirted around the topic. “I’m disappointed with the whole season, and I’m going to address it,” Wilson said. “I’m not just going to say, ‘Gee, I hope we get better next year.’ ” KEY NUMBER: 2002 Last season the Bills allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown, when they allowed two in an overtime loss to the Jets. MISC: Buffalo’s Willis McGahee had 22 carries for 113 yards and went over 100 yards for the first time in eight games. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs gave Dick Vermeil a near-perfect goodbye gift. They couldn’t give him what they really wanted, though – one more game as their head coach. The Chiefs were unstoppable on offense and stifling on defense in Sunday’s win. But Pittsburgh’s 35-21 victory over Detroit kept the Chiefs (10-6) from reaching the AFC playoffs, meaning Vermeil’s decision to retire at the end of the season takes effect immediately. “I think they’ve demonstrated that they are a playoff-caliber football team,” Vermeil said. “We just didn’t get some things done that we had to get done at the time we needed to get them done.” center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Only Shayne Graham’s first-quarter field goal kept the Bengals (11-5) from being shut out for the first time since 2001, and the AFC North champions take a two-game losing streak into their first playoff appearance in 15 years. But at least they get to go, as the No. 3 seed hosting Pittsburgh in the first round Sunday. Larry Johnson ran for 201 yards and a career-high three scores on 21 carries, his ninth straight 100-yard game, and broke Kansas City’s single-season rushing record with 1,750 yards. KEY NUMBER: 4 Including the 2005 Chiefs, teams that have finished with a 10-6 record and failed to make the playoffs since the NFL expanded the postseason field to 12 teams. MISC: Cincinnati’s Rudi Johnson and Chad Johnson are only the third set of teammates to set franchise rushing and receiving records in the same season, joining Dallas’ Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin (1995), and Houston’s Domanick Davis and Andre Johnson (2004). last_img read more

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