Auditor General, Deodat Sharma disclosed yesterday that special investigations were finalized during the period October 2019 and November 2020, for the Ministry of Public Health’s Drug Bond, the Ministry of Social Protection’s Sustainable Livelihood Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) Project, and the Ministry of Public infrastructure’s expenditure on the Leguan Stelling.

Further to this, Sharma said that three other special probes are at various stages of completion for the Mayor and City Council, the Ministry of Legal Affairs’ Retainers Agreement, and the Ministry of the Presidency’s Acquisition of Birth Certificates project.

Additionally, Sharma disclosed that four performance audits commenced this year for a review of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training, preparedness for Marine Oil Spill Response, Maternal Health Care Services at the Georgetown Public Hospital, and an assessment of the hinterland feeding programme. He said that these audits were delayed by the pandemic but will conclude next year.

During his presentation, the Auditor General said that the response to the global pandemic and its associated economic impact provides not only a challenge to government to ensure a careful balance with accountability, transparency, and integrity in their response mechanisms but an even greater challenge to the Audit Office to maintain public financial management discipline and address increased levels of waste and mismanagement when resources are under significant pressure.

As such, Sharma said that the demand for the skills required to provide advice on critical government rules and regulations and contribute to the safeguarding of government funds will therefore multiply tremendously. In this regard, he said that the office’s partnership with Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation has placed it in a position to respond effectively. “…Our enhanced training in this regard will ensure that we play a key role in the different stages of this crisis,” the Auditor General concluded.


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