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Private Sector Senator Concerned over Absent Audits

*As the Senate debated the budget for the new fiscal year starting tomorrow, Senator for the private sector, Kevin Herrera, rose to question the auditing of the government’s expenditures in the ministries. One of the concerns pointed out by Senator Herrera was the absence of recent audits. *

Kevin Herrera, Senator, Business Community: “I’ve had the opportunity to meet with the Auditor General and the complaint is about a lack of resources. The last audited reports we have, for Government accounts, was 2013-2014. The Finance & Audit Reform Act of 2005 requires that these audits are presented no later than 11 months after the fiscal year. The end of the fiscal year and nobody, the Auditor General, nobody can provide an extension beyond 11 months. In fact, the only body that is authorised to give an extension is actually the National Assembly and every year, we’re operating illegally because the Finance & Audit Reform Act says that if the audit is not completed within 3 months after it has been given or obtained from the accountant general that they must request approval from the National Assembly for an extension. Such a request, from what I’m aware, especially since I’ve been here, have not been forthcoming and yet, we continue to override those timelines. Again, there is nobody except the National Assembly that can grant an extension with respect to the audits.” 

It is interesting to note that the Government is yet to name a new Auditor General to succeed Dorothy Bradley. It has been one hundred and twelve days since Bradley retired.