Kaieteur News misinterprets and misrepresents Auditor General's Report
Guyana Chronicle news item, Saturday 09 August 2008
The Ministry of Finance wishes to place on record its grave concern at the
misleading front page headline and story carried on page 3 of yesterday's
Kaieteur News on the contents of the Auditor General's report for 2006 (AG's
report) which was tabled in the National Assembly Thursday.
The story makes the misleading and inaccurate suggestion that the AG's
report states that Government abuses public funds and that billions of
dollars are unaccounted for, reads a statement from the Ministry of Finance.
The conclusions reached by the Kaieteur News story can only be based on a
complete lack of understanding of the issues raised by the AG's report or a
deliberate distortion of these issues. In some instances, the story attempts
to take statements made in the AG's report and convert them into scandalous
misrepresentations, the Ministry says.
"For example, the story makes reference to the AG's observation that
forty-nine contingency fund advances totalling $1.72B remained outstanding
at the end of the year. The story subtly attempts to link this to the
conclusion reflected in its headline. In fact, there is absolutely nothing
irregular about contingency fund advances that remain outstanding at the end
of the year. At any one point in time during the fiscal year, there may be
contingency fund advances outstanding. Quite clearly, where contingency fund
advances are approved close to the end of the year, such advances may remain
outstanding at the end of the year until they are cleared by a supplementary
appropriation act. This, indeed, was the case with the advances outstanding
at the end of 2006, which were cleared by a supplementary appropriation act
approved shortly thereafter. The Auditor General's statement on the amounts
outstanding at the end of the year can, by no stretch of the imagination, be
extended to be interpreted as an irregularity in relation to these amounts.
"The same is the case with a number of other issues that were reported on by
the Auditor General and which were distorted by the Kaieteur News story in a
"It is most regrettable that those responsible for this story did not seek
to acquaint themselves with the nature of the issues concerned before
rushing to report sensationally on excerpts of the Auditor General's report.
The Ministry would certainly hope that Kaieteur News would take the
necessary steps in future to seek to acquire an adequate understanding of
issues before publishing reports that can create misleading impressions",
the statement from the Ministry concludes.