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NICH Interim President speaks on termination of internal auditor

It has been a month since Sapna Budhrani was placed on suspension.  The interim President Dr. John Morris, told the media that there were many discrepancies that led to the current state of affairs which could have been avoided if correct auditing procedures were used.

The interim President Dr. John Morris: “You have to remember that the board can recommend that Ms. Sapna be reinstated as President but it also has to go the Cabinet and I believe that is something that the Prime Minister will take to cabinet this morning and as he said he will speak about it this afternoon. I am the Director of the institution of Archeology and I think we are in a discussion I had with you earlier I am highly trained to do that kind of work and it would be a disservice to the Institute of Archeology for me to then become President of NICH. I think somebody else has to do their job, it’s not that I don’t understand the industry, I do but why waste so much money on training me and then having me to do something else., there’s a lot of people out there who can do the job as President of NICH.”

Dr. Morris said the impending termination of the internal auditor is a result of his lack of performance.

The interim President Dr. John Morris: “I am the acting President  and so I took the external auditors report to the board and the board looked at it and then a resolution was passed by the board NICH  to terminate his services primarily because they felt that a lot of errors were made and NICH cannot continue in that direction. We need to go outside and hire a new internal auditor who is capable of doing the job and that was principally a recommendation that most of the board members agreed to. I never, it’s not my forte, its not my desire to see people fired because I am long serving public officer but there are times when the necessity is there and I don’t think he was capable. NICH is a very complex organization, it  requires a very good internal audit. Not really because if you look at the audit that the due diligence was not done. When you do an internal audit, if you find an example of lets say a misuse of fuel or something like that you need to go to the Director of that particular institution and say well this is what I have found. Do you have an explanation for it? and if there is no explanation then you can document that or then you look for patterns, patterns of spending habits that may lead to something else but one incident does not lead to mismanagement, what the internal auditor needed to do was to look for patterns instead of isolating incidents.”

He said the termination could not be avoided.

The interim President Dr. John Morris: “there were major discrepancies in his report, in fact if he had simply sat down with the Finance Officer he would have found out that his reporting of the fuel usage literally was off the mark.”

Reporter: “What was his explanation for that? He is the internal auditor, he should know what the procedures are in this process?”

The interim President Dr. John Morris: “I asked him about it, now they say you should never flog a dead horse or when a person dies you shouldn’t align them or anything like that . I simply don’t think the Internal Auditor is very competent.”

According to Dr. Morris the internal auditor has been employed at NICH for about three or four years and has always had issues with his reports. NICH will be seeking a new internal auditor in the coming weeks.