NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Auditor General has found that the Local Government accounts for the Mayaguana District were not maintained at a “satisfactory standard”, and in one instance discovered that nearly $80,000 could not be accounted for.
The report which was tabled in Parliament yesterday was based on an audit of the Mayaguana Local Government District for the periods July 1, 2018 to June 30 2019, July 1 2019 to June 30 2020 and July 1, 2020 to February 28 2021. The audit was carried out during the week of March 8 to March 21, 202.
“Overall we discovered that the accounts of the Mayaguana district were not maintained at a satisfactory standard in all aspects; specifically the duplication of payment vouchers in addition to the absence of Head and Item numbers and cashbooks not being properly maintained and altered after it was discovered that balances were incorrect. Documents were poorly kept and a number of expenditures under the District Council were questionable. Additionally, circumstances surrounding the movement of cash indicate that the district is unaware of the amount and time of when cash is taken out of the safe,” the Auditor General’s report read.
The report also noted that a safe had not been installed at the new government complex.
“This presents a safety issue as cash has to be physically moved. Given the history of robberies at the old administrator’s office; the is of concern to the office of the Auditor-General. Internal controls need to be strengthened to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the financial operations within the district. We could not give reasonable assurance to the correctness and completeness of the accounts because in many instances public funds were disbursed without regard to transparency and accountability.”
The report noted that on analysis of cash received in the district in the second quarter of October- November 2020, $77,889.79 could not be accounted for.
“The cash of $77,889.75 shows that the Department of Local Government must take immediate action to recover those funds; it appears that the responsible administrator has neglected to properly maintain public funds and records,” the report noted.
It added, “It is recommended that the responsible administrator reconcile the Deposit Fund Account shortage in the amount of $77,889.75. It is further recommended that if a reasonable justification is not provided, local government should have the matter investigated further.”
The report also noted that the office safe remained at the previous administrator’s complex in Abraham’s Bay. Cash in the amount o $232,891.00 was in the safe though not identified to a designated account.
The report noted that it is urgent that the funds be removed and a new safe installed at the new administrator’s complex.
According to the report, the a review of the total allocation received in the district for the first, second and third quarters recorded in the ledger was $892,007.73. An examination of the Treasury remittances however revealed the amount to be $842,007.73. The Auditor General called for an explanation to be provided for the $50,000 disparity.