Report: Island Administrator breached financial laws

Report: Island Administrator breached financial laws
Auditor General Terrance Bastian

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An Auditor General’s report into the fire that destroyed the Administrator’s complex in San Salvador earlier this year, has revealed that the island’s administrator was in breach of two financial laws.

Nearly $7,500 was lost in a non-fireproof safe during the blaze, which occurred shortly after 11pm on January 17 in Cockburn Town, San Salvador.

A “Special Report” was conducted by the Office of the Auditor-General in order to determine the extent of the damage to the government’s assets which included the cash, building equipment, documents, furniture, and fittings.

The cause of the fire was not disclosed in the report; however, it points to three additional fires that took place at the Administrator’s Office at Upper Bogue, Eleuthera, in July 2013, April 2014, and July 2014.

In San Salvador, the report notes officials were shown where each of three safes were positioned on the property during a walkthrough of the burnt structure.

One fireproof safe was located at the northern rear of the building and stored $295 at the time of the fire.

The other two safes were not fireproof, according to the report. The safe located at the northern front side of the structure reportedly contained a ten cent piece along with commemorative stamps.

The third safe on the rear southern side of the structure reportedly held $7,500 in cash.

According to the report, the former administrator said the cash was an outstanding payment for works that had already been contracted out.

The cash was reportedly being stored in the safe for an extended period of time even though a bank is located in the district.

“The actions of the administrator clearly leads to a breach of the Financial Administration and Audit Act 2010, and the Financial Regulations, 1975,” the report concluded.

“It is our understanding that a police investigation was conducted on the fire, however, the results of the report was not obtained by the Office of the Auditor General for review.

“The administrator should explain the reasoning for keeping cash in the safe for an extended period of time.”