Auditor General, Deodat Sharma on Monday presented his 2021 report to Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, ahead of the statutory deadline.
Five performance audit reports namely the Management of Medical Waste at Hospitals, Management of Drugs and Medical Supplies at the Ministry of Public Health and Regional Health Facilities, Receipt, Storage and Distribution of Textbooks at Schools, Review of Training Programmes Established and Developed by the Council of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, and Guyana’s Preparedness for Marine Oil Spill Response were also presented to the house speaker.
The House Speaker noted the importance of the reports.
“The five areas, are needed, necessary of course not sufficient, but when you look at text books, when you look at drugs, those are two of the biggest areas of expenditure and the performance audits are designed to give an objective, critical, impartial analysis of the processes so that we can get more efficiency out of the system,” Nadir said.
He noted that the performance audits could be used for all of the accounting units to look at their own systems and utilise finances better.
He said Parliament has voted to make the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) become a member of the Commonwealth Association of Public Accounts Committees, which will give Guyana’s PAC exposure to the best practices obtained across the commonwealth.
“We must feel proud that while windfalls are coming our way in terms of the resources, that all arms of the state are ensuring that the resources at our disposal are going to be transparent, traceable and used in the most efficient way possible,” Nadir said.
According to the auditor general, the achievement reflects the office’s objective of timely reporting to the legislature and the public.
He said during the course of the year, in addition to regular audits, there was a roll out of several cash grants, including the ‘Because We Care’, Children Living with Disabilities, and the hinterland and riverine villages cash grants.
“Our team of auditors were engaged in real time audits, where we were able to ensure the objectives of the activity were achieved beneficiaries received their grant without prejudice of any minor post review documentation issues, these real time audits also provided us with an opportunity to witness firsthand the process, and there is no better audit evidence than first hand witness,” Sharma noted.
He lauded the cooperation received from ministries and departments, and even ministers who availed themselves to answering questions