Prime Minister’s office purchases $790M in hampers but provides bills for $213M – Audit Report
Jan 16, 2022 - Source -- Kaieteur News Online -- https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...r-213m-audit-report/
Kaieteur News – The Auditor General (AG) has found in his most recently conducted investigations that the Office of the Prime Minister spent a whopping $790 million during the year 2020 on items purchased for relief hampers, however, bills were only provided for $213 million.
According to AG, Deodat Sharma, the monies were allocated to Disaster Preparedness, Response and Management, Line Item 6292 – Dietary.
“The items purchased via 11 payment vouchers processed for sums totalling $213.852M were verified as having been received. However, the difference of 15 payment vouchers processed for sums totalling $577.070M were not presented for audit examination,” the 2020 report states.
As a result, the Audit Office said it could not determine whether the items valued $577.070M were received and properly accounted for.
In response, the Office of the Prime Minister explained that it was responding to an emergency situation, hence the requisite documents were not presented. “The Head of Budget Agency stated that at the time of reporting, the officer responsible was responding to an emergency. The Office has put measures in place for the requisite examinations to be done,” according to the AG report.
As such, the Audit Office recommended that the Head of Budget Agency submit the relevant documentation to facilitate a verification of the receipt and distribution of the items.
The said report also noted that the office did not submit log books for 19 vehicles and equipment for audit.
The AG said, “The Office did not submit for audit, log books for 19 vehicles and equipment that required maintenance. This is a breach of Section 29 of the Stores Regulations 1993, which require that ‘Log Books in Form 17 shall be maintained for all motor vehicles, plant, machinery and equipment, except motor vehicles assigned to Ministers of the Government, holders of Constitutional Offices and persons of similar status’.”
As a result, the Audit Office could not determine whether all journeys undertaken were properly authorised and in the interest of the public. He was keen to note that during 2019, log books were not properly maintained to reflect all pertinent information.
The Office of the Prime Minister responded that the Head of Budget Agency explained that log books are currently being maintained and that the office has systems in place to ensure all vehicle log books are properly filled out.
Moreover, the Audit Office recommended that the Head of Budget Agency should ensure log books are maintained for all vehicles requiring such, and monitor systems to ensure adherence to the Stores Regulations.
Kaieteur News was unable to verify under which administration the skullduggeries occurred, as both the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) and the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) would have been in office during the year 2020.