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Dec 6, 2017

Auditor General Says Submitted Report is Final; Some Editing Done

Dorothy Bradley

Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, though it was her second appearance, was the final witness to appear before the Senate Special Select Committee today. As some witnesses have done in their appearances before the Committee, Bradley began her testimony with a short statement to the Senate panel. She indicated in that statement that she had been questioned by Immigration C.E.O. Edmund Zuniga by letter, in which he suggested that there may be another “version” of the report. She emphatically refuted that suggestion and denied any political interference in the production and presentation of the report. But she noted in response to questioning that the report was edited for length and clarity.

 

Dorothy Bradley, Auditor General

“On the twenty-first [of] November, 2017, a letter was brought to my attention from the Chief Executive Officer, Immigration Department, Mister Edmund Zuniga, asking if I indicate if in fact there is another version of the special reports which were presented to the National Assembly in respect of the Special Immigration Audit. In reference to said letter, I would like to state categorically that I have not, at any time, received any political interference at any juncture of the audit, nor the reporting thereof. There simply cannot be any other version of the reports. I take full responsibility for the reports and I want to assure the National Assembly to which I respond and the Belizean that I have done my job with integrity and in an earnest manner, and that I intend to continue to do so with God’s favor.”

 

Elena Smith, Senator, Trade Unions and Civil Society

“We understand that the initial report – and when I say initial I mean the first draft of the report – had more information in it, and when it was presented, that the team was asked to remove some of the material because it was too much, or the volume, the books would have been too huge. Can you clarify that or add anything to that?”

 

Dorothy Bradley

“That would not be true. The process for any audit being conducted – there is a team assigned and there is a head auditor or lead auditor. Once that team is assigned and we have done our matrix and decide exactly what is the scope, then we move forward with that. As I said, the scope expanded because of what we were finding – even when we decided to expand the scope, then we started realizing that we were finding a lot of information. It was based on that, that I decided at one point to do a preliminary report. But at the completion of every report, what happens is that each individual officer, whether it be a clerk or examiner – because these people are below the supervisor – the request would be that instead of just picking up all this information and presenting it, you are required to do it in a report format. It would make it easier for the supervisor, who will then have to compile all the pieces of reports to make one draft. So when that was done – Miss Faber did that – that was passed to the then Deputy Auditor General, who was in this case for Immigration he was the quality assurance officer – we have three quality assurance officers. When it reaches that stage, at that level, the responsibilities you go through, you would question, you would examine. If you don’t have supporting documents, it won’t work. Everything we produce must have supporting documents.”

 

After the first verification was completed, the Auditor General reviewed the first draft herself in the mode of someone new to the information. She made some excisions regarding specific interviews with persons the Audit team spoke to.

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