Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The latest statements by the President on the Auditor General’s report are disturbing

The latest statements by the President on the Auditor General’s report are disturbing
Stabroek News. Letter.
Posted By Staff On August 26, 2008 @ 5:08 am In Letters | 12 Comments

Dear Editor,
The latest statements by the President about the Lotto Funds as well as the balances held in dormant bank accounts at the Bank of Guy-ana are indeed very disturbing. These matters were highlighted in previous Auditor General’s reports going back to the ’90s and the early 2000s without any public comment from the administration.

In addition, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) looked into these issues, concurred with the findings of the Audit Office and made appropriate recommendations for the transfer of balances held in these special bank accounts to the Consolidated Fund. Why the administration has not acted on the PAC’s recommendations over the years remains a mystery.

It is to be noted with concern that the President wants the Minister of Finance to guide the media on the Auditor General’s report. This is creating a dangerous precedent since such an action will in no uncertain measure undermine the independence of the Auditor General’s Office. It is the Auditor General who has to explain his report if certain aspects are not clear. Let us hope that the Minister, who is a professional accountant, will advise the President about the lack of wisdom of such an approach.
It is the duty of the opposition, the private sector and all other representatives of civil society to defend the independence of the Auditor General’s Office from the executive. It hurts so much to notice that all the gains that have been made to ensure a constitutionally strong and effective legislative audit, are being rapidly eroded by the actions of this administration.

The evidence abounds of the lack of transparency, greater accountability and good governance so vitally important for the country to progress economically and otherwise. These latest statements by the President are yet another example of this administration’s continued attempts to hoodwink the citizens of this country.
Yours faithfully,
(Name and address

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