Auditor General flagged over 500 breaches of law by APNU/AFC

The Audit Office of Guyana (AOG), via the annual Auditor General reports, has red-flagged more than 500 breaches of various laws between the years 2015 and 2018, most of which occurred while the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government was in power.

Auditor General Deodat Sharma

This revelation was made by Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gail Teixeira, while she was making her contribution to a motion during Wednesday’s sitting of the National Assembly, that aimed to strengthen the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by making it mandatory for both the Government and Opposition sides to be present to form a quorum before decisions could be made.
During her presentation, Teixeira cited a summary of the various breaches to laws such as the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA); the Procurement Act and the Stores Regulations of 1993 that Auditor General Deodat Sharma had flagged (a total of 512).
“If we look at the FMA Act, the Auditor General points out that there were 21 breaches in 2015. In 2016, 82. In 2017, 40. In 2018, 71. You get the gist? Procurement Act breaches, 18 in 2015, 21 in 2016, 27 in 2017, 28 in 2018. Breaches of the Stores regulations, it has gone up from 53, 60, 34, 57.
“These are the summations of the Auditor General’s reports of what they’ve found, the breaches. And certainly, it’s important for us to be able to try to correct these things. And it’s the seriousness with which we take these things, the Treasury Memorandum was circulated on the floor today,” Teixeira also said.
The Treasury Memorandum, which was circulated on Wednesday, dealt with the 2015 fiscal year and the Auditor General’s findings. In it, the relevant budget agencies responded to various findings in the report and what had been done since, to prevent a reoccurrence.
The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the motion, which was brought by Teixeira, to amend Standing Order 82, and increase the number of members required for a quorum at the PAC.
The PAC is made up of nine members: five from Government and four from the Opposition. Prior to the amendment, only three members were required to form a quorum from either side of the House.
The motion amended the Standing Order by inserting immediately after paragraph (3), the following paragraph – “(4) A quorum shall be five (5) members, two (2) representing the Government, two (2) representing the Opposition and the chairperson.”
In explaining the need for the motion, Minister Teixeira had said that the intention was to ensure no decision was made unless all members were present, stressing that it was no attempt to delay the work of the Committee.
“The issue is the quorum being amended, is not harmful; it will, in fact, make sure both sides always have two on each side. You do not have to have everybody, but you have to have two on each side to ensure the work goes forward… this will enhance the way in which we operate in the Parliament. It is not harmful to anyone,” Teixeira said. (G3)