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Jun 30, 2005

Caribbean tax auditors improve anti-fraud skills

Story PictureFor the past two weeks, more than twenty tax officials representing governments from the Caribbean have gathered in Belize City to participate in an annual workshop concentrating on financial auditing and fraud awareness. According to the coordinator, St. Lucia’s Averil James, the event is facilitated by the Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI) and is designed to fine-tune the expertise of the government employees using tax laws and case studies specific to the Caribbean. James says the end result is a larger resource pool of home-grown knowledge about regional issues.

Averil James, Training Workshop Coordinator
?The benefit is that right now we have twenty-two trained specialists that can deliver training throughout the Caribbean. So therefore we don?t need to go to say Canada or England to get trainers to come in to do workshops, we have them right there and we use them to deliver workshops on various topics. They were trained in various areas, they developed courses in value for money, in interviewing skills–this one right here, financial auditing and fraud awareness. And so we have the resources right here and we can use it and impart it to our auditors right here in the Caribbean. What this has done is really improve the auditing skills throughout the auditing offices, so now people are more skilled and more knowledgeable in order to carry out financial audits and even start probably on fraud awareness audits.?

Janelle Chanona
?I don?t know if you?ve been watching local media while you?re here, but we are in the midst of two very intense financial investigations into the S.S.B. investment portfolio, we?ve heard the words ?forensic auditor? concerning our Development Finance Corporation, are these the types of skills you are talking about??

Averil James
?I would hope that as we progress and as this programme continues that we would get to that stage, but for right now we are just concentrating on just giving the basics and to have auditors aware of the various techniques that they can do for those types of audits. As we progress and probably in years to come we will be able to be in a better position to be able to deliver material on forensic auditing. But for right now we are basically touching on the subject of fraud awareness.?

The countries represented in the two-week seminar included Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Montserrat, Barbados, Antigua, Trinidad, Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Bahamas, Dominica, and Belize. The sessions end tomorrow at the Princess Hotel.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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