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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ULSTER SFC QUARTER-FINAL: SUPER ST EUNAN’S POWER PAST ROSLEA TO BOOK SEMI-FINAL SPOT

first_imgSt Eunan’s have powered past the challenge of Fermanagh champions Roslea at O’Donnell Park this afternoon in their Ulster SFC quarter-final. St Eunan’s are throught to the Ulster SFC semi-finals after a comfortable win over Roslea.Maxi Curran’s side were absolutely dominant throughout the match and were deserving winners.St Eunan’s controlled the match and were defensively solid throughout. Sean Hensey, Michael Martin and Conor Morrison were immense at the back, and this was evidenced by the fact Roslea didn’t register their first point until ten minutes into the second-half.Conall Dunne continued his stunning form from the Donegal SFC into the Ulster SFC scoring 1-4 of their 1-5 first-half tally.His goal came from the penalty spot after John Haran was hauled down as he bared down on goal.St Eunan’s were slightly complacent in the second-half, and didn’t play at the same intensity and tempo as the opening period. They added scores through, Rory Carr, Conor Parke, Kevin Rafferty and Conor Gibbons.Seamus Quigley scored four points from frees for Roslea and was their standout performer.In truth Roslea really struggled to have any impact on the game.Final score St Eunan’s 1-09 Roslea 0-06St Eunan’s have only reached the Ulster SFC semi-final on two occasions previously and will be hoping this is the year they can land that elusive Ulster Title. It was a comprehensive and comfortable win for Maxi Curran’s side who now face Omagh in the last four in what should be an absolute cracker of a game.They defeated Crossmaglen last weekend and will present a much more difficult challenge that that of Roslea.Well done to St Eunan’s on a fantastic win and performance.ULSTER SFC QUARTER-FINAL: SUPER ST EUNAN’S POWER PAST ROSLEA TO BOOK SEMI-FINAL SPOT was last modified: November 9th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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