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No Price Tag Yet For Overall Cost Of Audits On Government Agencies

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Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest.

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

THE government has not been able to finalise the scope or overall price tag of the round of audits it ordered on several government run agencies, corporations, and offices last week, this confirmed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest yesterday.

In an interview with The Tribune on Sunday, the East Grand Bahama MP-elect indicated that the new government had decided to start its initiative with internal “audits and assessments,” with plans to “expand out” if the results deem it necessary.

To that end, Mr Turnquest said the government would be unable to determine exactly how much it would have to spend to carry out the audits, nor would it be in a position to do so until it concluded its appointments of essential personnel over the coming weeks.

Last week, the Minnis administration announced that it would conduct forensic audits into Urban Renewal, Bank of the Bahamas (BOB) and the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI), among others.

The government has also said that all Cabinet ministers will conduct audits within their respective ministries.

Contacted yesterday for a status report on these proposed audits, Mr Turnquest said: “(No audit) is concluded as yet, however the first round will be internal audits and assessments.”

He continued: “We will expand out from there depending on results. As such, the cost of the exercise is not determined at this point.”

When pressed on when the country can expect a clear price tag for the proposed audits, Mr Turnquest added: “We will determine after new Boards are seated and assessments done.”

In its initial calls for the audits, the new administration suggested that the move was made primarily to bring about greater efficiencies within ministries and departments across the public service.

The Minnis administration said it was seeking to curtail unnecessary expenditure and the results of these audits will assist it in determining the way forward.

It added that where persons are found to be in breach of the Financial Administrative & Audit Act, the law will take its course.

Last Wednesday, Algernon Allen revealed that he and Cynthia “Mother” Pratt had resigned as co-chairs of Urban Renewal earlier this month, noting that the pair had no concerns about what the audit may reveal as their role was largely “ornamental”.

Also last week, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson revealed he had suspended aspects of the initiative in Grand Bahama, expressing grave concerns over how the programme operated under the previous administration.

New FNM senators and parliamentary secretaries will be sworn in at Government House today.

Comments

birdiestrachan 2 years ago

Spend all the money you have to prove who has stolen what, after all the FNM Party campaign was about persons stealing. some of the Bahamian people believed them. they must present their fact and bring charges. Those who believed them expect no less from them.

The game is on.

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SP 2 years ago

Essentially, the audits will be self-funding in the medium term as loopholes are plugged.

The cost of required audits is irrelevant compared to the potential huge sums that will be confiscated and returned to state coffers and savings that will be immediately realized once corruptIon and decades of money hemorrhaging from every department stop.

AMAZINGLY, After 4 decades of massive corruption, this is the "FIRST AUDIT" ordered by a Prime Minister!

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

This FNM administration must CLEAN UP the corruption and graft in the public finances ...... Minnis has the right talent in the MOF to do the work (not just as politicians) ......... This is a good step towards getting the world (and Bahamians) to trust our government again

Anyone read The Punch headline today???? ............ That is just the beginning of the disclosure into the PLP abuse at BOB and other agencies

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Jetflt 2 years ago

Amen to that! Spend whatever it takes to unearth the corruption and thievery and let the law take its course. If there is corruption then the responsible person or persons no matter how low or high level they are......lock 'em up!!!

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