Monday, February 22, 2010
Public accounts part deux
PUBLIC ACCOUNTS SCRUTINY CONTINUES:
THE FOLLOWING IS NOT A FIGMENT OF SOMEONE’S IMAGINATION BUT TAKEN FROM THE REPORT OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE FOR THE YEARS 2004 AND 2005.
The Public Accounts Committee said that it noticed that even though the Consolidated Fund was opened there was still an UNRECONCILED balance in the account the findings reported that there were difference between the bank account balances reported in the Statement of the Current Assets and Liabilities of the Government and that in the records of the Bank of Guyana. According to the records of the Bank, the new Consolidated Fund account reflected a positive balance of $6.459 billion as at 31 December 2004, compared to a negative balance of $6.153 billion noted by the bank.
In addition, the total bank account balances of other ministries and departments amounted to a negative balance of $8.446 billion, compared to a positive balance of $10.907 billion as reported on the statement.
The Committee reports that according to Section 73(2) of the FMA Act, the Finance Minster is required to prepare a Statement of Contingent Liabilities which forms a component of the annual consolidated financial statements. The Act also defines a contingent liability as “a future commitment, usually to spend public monies which is dependent upon the happening of a specified event or the materialization of a specified circumstance”.
The Committee in its report said that DESPITE previous recommendations that liabilities for entities that are no longer in existence be transferred to the Public Debt, IT IS DISAPPOINTING to note that at the time of reporting in March 2006, NO ACTION was taken on the matter. The report said too that it should be noted that the statement submitted was not prepared in accordance to the ACT.
The PAC said too that according to the Statement of Receipts and Payments of the Contingencies Fund for the year end 31 December 2005, total payments of the Fund amounted to $5.865 billion, compared with $2.647 billion in 2004, an increase of $3.218 billion. Total Receipts from the Consolidated Fund amount to $5.856 billion as against $1.188 billion in 2004 an increase of $4.668 billion. This gives an excess of payments over receipts of $9 million.
Of the payments made from the Contingencies Fund for the period under review, 25 totaling $1.468 billion remained outstanding as at 31 December 2005.
The Report also noted that 19 ADVANCES totaling $37.634 million granted during the period 1986 to 1996 were still outstanding as of the 31 December 2005. At the time when the matter was reported to the Public Accounts Committee, the nature of the 19 advances could not be determined.
The Report said that during the time period involved and that fact that there was no financial reporting during the period 1986-1991, it was not possible to ascertain how the amounts were expended for the purpose of replenishing the Fund.
The Public Accounts Committee in its meetings over the 2004 and 2005 periods scrutinized the records of Ministries, Departments and Regional bodies.
In its Report the Committee noted that there were a number of bodies including ministries that still breached the Financial Regulations.
To be continued...