Following his review of how the APNU+AFC regime handled the nation’s finances for the fiscal year ended December 2019, Auditor General, Deodat Sharma was keen to express his disappointment with the absence of accountability and transparency by the Guyana Lotteries Commission.
In his latest report, Sharma reminded that the Government of Guyana and Canadian Bank Note Ltd. (CBN) had entered into an agreement years ago, establishing a Government Lottery which was organised and conducted under the provisions of the Government Lotteries Act, Chapter 80:07 of the Laws of Guyana. Under this agreement CBN is to pay Licence fees equivalent to 24% of gross revenue. The Guyana Lotteries Commission which was established in August 1996 by a Cabinet Decision manages the Licence fees receivable and ensures that amounts expended are in accordance with the guidelines for access to the lottery funding.
Sharma said that the Lotteries Commission continued to receive proceeds from the National Lottery but the last set of audited accounts was for the year 2013.
Sharma stated that in August 2019, draft Financial Statements for the years 2015 to 2019 were submitted for audit. However, on December 14, 2016, the Audit Office completed the audit for the year 2014 and requested signed Financial Statements but these were not received up to the time of reporting in November 2020.
In the absence of audited Financial Statements for the years 2014 to 2019, Sharma said it was not possible to verify the completeness, accuracy and validity of the revenue and expenditure for the Guyana Lottery Commission for those years.
The Auditor General subsequently recommended that the Ministry of Finance ensures that financial statements are submitted promptly for audit examination.