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Sep 28, 2012

Where is the Auditor General’s report?

Mark Lizarraga

The 2010-2011 government audit was discussed in the Senate. According to Senator Mark Lizarraga, the government accounts are in a mess and that’s a major cause of concern. Lizarraga said the report is damning because the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, did not provide an expert opinion and that due to substantive omissions, the accounts did not balance.  The audit was unable to reconcile the physical accounts with what was documented and the senator pointed out that due to insufficient documentation, the accounts did not fairly represent the true status of the government’s accounts. Lizarraga also chided the Public Accounts Committee that is mandated to oversee the business of the country’s finances, pointing out it has not been functioning for several years. 

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator

“It is very damning when an accountant comes in and says I have not seen enough to give you a qualified decision. That is serious because we are talking about the management of our taxes; we are talking about the management of over eight hundred and odd million dollars in revenues. I encourage everyone to read the auditor general’s report because it identifies many areas that are weak in our country. In many instances, she claims she could not get the records that she needed to see and many of her complaints were reoccurring complaints. In many instances, accounts were not reconciled, bank accounts were not reconciled, inventory management was poor or lacking in many instances. She also said that it was very important for the public accounts committee for the house to meet. The public accounts committee acts like the audit committee in a business—they are the watch dogs for the board. The board in this instance of course would be those that are entrusted to manage the financial affairs of our country and that committee has not met for years. That committee for some reason has never been able to meet. So who is watching our finances ultimately? The processes that we have in place are not working. In many instances, the government cannot produce lists of who owes them properly. The auditor general spoke about receivables of the government being in shambles; in a horrible state. She also cited that we needed seriously to consider having auditors in each ministry. In today’s day when you are managing so much money, each ministry should have its own internal auditors. So she spoke of the need to strengthen her department, the need to strengthen and train the accountant general. And there were so many wonderful things that her report cited that we really need to seriously take a look at. I encourage the press to look into it; get a copy of her report and hopefully together we can try to champion for the better management of the public purse.”

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18 Responses for “Where is the Auditor General’s report?”

  1. Hatari says:

    How in the world can a government operate like this?! This is physical and financial mismanagement in an unacceptable manner. Without proper controls and audits there is no way that our government can function in an efficient manner. This is why they get away with stealing us blind!

  2. BELIZEAN says:

    I agree with this man.

  3. Lemonal says:

    The auditor general makes a good suggestion about having auditors in each ministry/department – but isn’t that the role of the ministry’s FO? or were FO”s gotten rid of over the years to enable the minister to get away with thieving? In any case, there seems to be a need for accountants in each ministry and laws with penalties in place that will jail those who play loose and fast with the people’s money. When you have a whole department in place to account for the people’s money and they do not, they also do not need to keep their jobs. No excuses!! LET’S GET SERIOUS BELIZE ABOUT CLEANING UP THE MESS OF GOVERNMENT!!

  4. Al says:

    This is what I am talking about, the incompetence of the government. I am not pointing at only one party, both party are made of imcompetent jacka$$$. How can these men run this country and not know the true state of the finances.

    How can fraud and mis-handling of government money be managed if no one knows what is the treasurery and what has been taken or where it is. How often is the PM briefed on the state of the treasury or the government operating finances or departments that are out of compliance. I am sorry there has to be something to comply with before compliance can be determined. Evidently there are no rules of compliance written.

    We all know that accounts needs to be reconciled, a new accoutning student knows that a balance sheet is necessary to the accounting process and, reconciliation is important to knowing funds activity and availability.

    How much dirt is buried under this government’s floor board. But with people like Boots Martinez and the likes in politics running the country what can we expect. The sad part is that next election the people of Belize will have forgotten this and vote this imcompetent people into office again.

  5. Rod says:

    Nothing but thief di go on from the pm down every member of this gov. The thief call it the den of thieves.

  6. BMNJ says:

    Corruption, corruption, corruption! Corruption from the top to the bottom.

  7. Sick& Tired says:

    The PUP taught the UDP not to give a damn about GOB financial regulations, now the UDP does it better. Notice my bzeans, New Auditor General just before the UDP’s new mandate so things will be even worse and Audit will just look the other way. So many cries about mismanagement and corruption, yet they cannot even bring their own public officers to be prosecuted, even worse the thiefing politicians and CEOs. Barrow used our $ to give Christmas gifts and ham n turkey to UDP supporters, did you hear Audit condemn that? No! The entire Audit Dept is a big waste of taxpayers money and a waste of time. Sorry fi Belize because instead of watching how our $ is spent/wasted and implicate the wrongdoers, they make a general statement that GOB accounts is in disarray. Watch them closely Belizeans.

  8. Bear says:

    In private business, people whose books do not balance and funds cannot be accounted for would be arrested for stealing from their investors.

    We need a FULL AND OPEN PUBLIC AUDIT, from an outside auditor. If money is misappropriated or missing, then we need arrests, because it appears GOB is stealing from the taxpayer’s cookie jar. UDP and PUP, neither can be trusted with a shilling of public funds.

  9. Seletar says:

    Do we need a taxpayers’ strike? Refuse to remit taxes to GOB until we have confidence money is no longer subject to mismanagement and outright theft?

    I would be willing to pay it to the UK’s exchequer to hold for the day GOB becomes competent and honest, if ever, or to a major church leader or council.

    If we keep doing the same old thing, paying our money to GOB’s insatiable appetite for corruption, nothing will change, except our poverty will increase. That is insanity.

  10. jose says:

    This is a very serious matter for the entire public to know, that their money is not being managed properly. I believe it is time that all Ministries have an audit control or body, since this will be the only way this country can move forward. Let us not wait until we are mandated from abroad to have these in place, but rather begin now by hiring professional and experienced personnel to managed the public affairs.

  11. Carina Lucy Quan says:

    The Audit office is a waste of taxpayer’s money. With all the coprruption and mismanagement of public funds they never seem to be able to prosecute any public officer or thiefing politician, past and present.

  12. Rhenae says:

    I don’t know if I should laugh, cuss, scream or cry or praise the Lord! How many MONTHS have I been trying to bring this very issue to the attention of my colleagues in the media but it seems in Belize, someone somewhere has a monopoly on information. While these silly game is being played our money is flying through the window.
    This auditor general is the previous accountant general who for three years could not get her figures correct and annoyed former auditor general Edmond Zuniga with her LATE REPORTS that carried NO explanation for her lateness (there is a law regarding that as well).
    This kept trying to bring attention to if we supposedly are in the business of keeping our government HONEST!
    Be that as it may, I guess I am glad that at least the story has seen the light of day. The repercussions of this government’s sloppiness are extensively severe. Our creditors do not believe a word from us and we have no way of measuring the effectiveness of government’s policies and how well they are spending our money.
    Since this government entered office in 2008, Belize has not been assessed by Transparency International because the Barrow administration has refused to supply the necessary data for that assessment to be done. This administration has gotten away with too much and it is time that the media in Belize starts being proactive rather than reactive.
    This is only the tip of the iceberg but a good start. Keep up the good work and let’s strive to do better!

  13. Al says:

    These politicians all went to the same school of accounting. Remember the former mayor, she had some creative accounting processes also, I believe it was called short deposit. There is no place in my accounting classes where I had ever heard of short deposit, either you have a million dollars to deposit or you don’t. If there was a million dollars to be deposited and only eighty thousand was deposited, that is called misappropriation of funds, plain old stealing. She was never convicted. She has her mansion and was going to build her restaurant, my guess is that some public money is in the mix somewhere.

  14. !@#%^%# says:

    I agree with Seletar….we need a taxpayers’ strike until we get someone accountable of all this mess. We don’t need to do anything in the Audit Department. Once any department or anything falls within a government it will get corrupted. What we need is an independent auditor from abroad.

  15. Pedro Dolmo says:

    This is what happens when you hire incompetent and inexperience people to be Auditor General that are family friends and not audit experts. The Auditor General should be someone who is trained in the area of audit not just a person who has the employees doing her work . If GOB dont shape up eventually nobody will lend us money cause it seems as though the Audit department is not functioning.

  16. Don seh it says:

    Dis crowd di hussle, buy off the unions, intimidate and threathen social partners and NGOs. the press is our only hope, remember the arab spring was staarted by the social media, you tube we need to start posting videos of public wastage and hussling, GOB vehicles at SAMs in chetumal, Ministers and theeir sweet hearts financial accounts, start our Belizean wikileaks, thats the only way

  17. Rod says:

    I’ve been saying this for months all business people and individuals we need to stop paying taxes until this gov and pm are gone put on a plane to Miami permanently.

  18. Anais Nin says:

    How do I get a copy of this report so I can review it myself? It is a government document and therefore should be available to the governed, people like me.

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