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    November 12

  • 04:30 PM

EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK: Clear need for audit staff

ERIC SMITH, ericsmith@nationnews.com

Added 09 November 2018

bloc-eric-editors-notebook

With Government looking at expenditure on wages and salaries, the last thing the Mia Mottley administration would want to hear at this time is to employ more people.

So even in these austere times, and with no excuses, it is imperative Government employs qualified staff for the Auditor General’s Department.

Every year Auditor General Leigh Trotman makes a plea for more staff. He must be obliged if the country is to get better governance via greater compliance with all the financial regulations.

No-one will object to such a move – not the International Monetary Fund, not Bishop Joe Atherley, not Verla DePeiza – and it will certainly win the support of the Social Partnership. Dr Kevin Greenidge understands and appreciates the importance of a credible, well-functioning independent auditor to the state.

Barbados clearly needs an Audit Department that will undertake financial audits, performance audits and special examinations, especially of the public-private partnerships, our diplomatic missions, the Barbados Revenue Authority and Customs, the National Insurance Scheme, Parliament, the Judiciary and the Office of the Solicitor General.

Barbados can no longer afford to have a situation where annual audits are held five, even ten years, behind schedule in the public sector.

This is an untenable situation.

The Auditor General should also be asked to answer questions before a live televised joint select committee of Parliament at least once a year after he has laid his report.

The net result will be greater transparency and accountability. The issue of corruption, which is a top-of-the-mind matter, could even disappear. (ES)

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