NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is expected to table recently completed forensic audits in Cabinet this morning, according to a source at the Office of the Prime Minister.
The informant told Eyewitness News Online that the prime minister received the completed audits last week and spent the weekend reviewing them.
This comes on the heels of a recent audit conducted by the Auditor General on the National Sports Authority (NSA), which revealed that several companies were allegedly paid millions of dollars under the former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration without the work being completed.
While the source could not reveal which reports were reviewed by the prime minister over the weekend, we do know that government has already completed and tabled reports on the Ministry of Finance and Urban Renewal in Grand Bahama.
That means that the remaining reports in question would be on the Bank of The Bahamas (BOB), the former government’s hurricane relief program, the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) and the Post Office Savings Bank.
Matt Aubry, Executive Director of the Organization for Responsible Governance, told Eyewitness News Online on Monday that he supports government’s move to properly examine agencies that utilize public funds.
“When we’re talking about accountable governance and transparency; we’re also ultimately talking about government’s efficiency and effectiveness,” he said.
“It’s essential for, not only government to have a good sense of that, but also for that to be brought forward.
“What’s further important is what’s being done about it; what are the processes coming from it and steps government has taken to mitigate any potential risks.”
Aubry said Bahamians should be waiting with baited breath for the results of the completed reports as they just might reveal additional cases of reported misappropriation of funds or alleged corruption.
“We absolutely want to see what happens from these results,” he said.
“What’s going to happen from these forensic audits will be essential to understanding if we will be closer to the right kind of governance. One that is responsible, open and one that is appropriate for Bahamians.”
More importantly, Aubry said the reports should encourage government to implement certain protocols and mechanisms that would prevent future oversights.
He asserted that new protocols and mechanisms would provide government with a proactive, as opposed to reactive, approach.
“I think what we are seeing is that there is a trend of a lack of efficiency and effectiveness and protocols on how monies are used in government,” he asserted.
“Those in government may have a sense of it, but those who are funding government; who are the taxpayers, need to understand it as well.”