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Deputy Pm: Audits Will Be Beneficial In The Long Term

Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest speaks in Parliament.

Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest speaks in Parliament.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

WHILE costs associated with audits launched in several government ministries and departments remain unclear, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest insisted that whatever is spent on this undertaking will ensure certain actions under the previous administration are revealed to the public.

He was unable to tell reporters what the Minnis administration has spent on the probes, explaining that each audit has a varying degree of complexity, resulting in varying costs.

Mr Turnquest, Minister of Finance, said some of the audits have been completed, others are in the process and some will be kicking off in short order.

Unable to say when the entire process will end, he said Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis will decide when he wants to release certain audit reports.

“It all has a lot of bearing on what is discovered and how you deal with that from an administrative and legal point of view and so I wouldn’t want to preempt or predict when that is supposed to be released,” Mr Turnquest said in response to a question from the media on the sidelines of the Bahamas Business Outlook at Baha Mar on Thursday.

He continued: “All the audits have gone out for competitive tender. They have varying degrees of complexity and so varying degrees of cost, but at the end of the day whatever is spent it is going to be beneficial to the country long term. It is money that I think is necessary to ensure that we discover what has happened (and) why it has happened.

“We know the break downs that occurred in administrative or system controls so we don’t want to have a repeat and so we are very focused on that because we want to drive efficiency and be able to minimise the tax burden on the Bahamian people. Then we have to get our cost under control and ensure that we limit the amount of waste, as much as possible and this is one of the reasons why we do that.

Since taking office in May 2017, the Minnis administration has initiated widespread auditing across government offices.

Included in these probes are the Gaming Board, Post Office Savings Bank, the Hurricane Relief Fund, the National Insurance Board, the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute, Urban Renewal and Water and Sewerage.

Last month Mr Turnquest told The Tribune that the Bahamas the government could have saved Bahamian taxpayers millions of dollars if the country had an effective internal audit programme.

Addressing a Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) seminar in December, Mr Turnquest stressed the need to strengthen this function.

He noted an effective internal audit programme, and commitment by the Government to follow through on its recommendations, could have prevented significant losses, adding that the Auditor General's department needed strengthening from both a staffing and capacity standpoint.

Comments

TheMadHatter 1 month ago

Yes it did and almost every time the Auditor General opened his mouth, he was basically told to sit small.

Things are being audited now by private enterprise. It will be interesting to see if the new budget allows for more staff at the Aud-G office and more equipment etc. Also legislation changes to give that dept some teeth, some power and not be just like the Central Bank a few years ago which just kept writing letter after letter to BOB but being unable to stop the bleeding.

Our people and hence our government has a real issue with delegation of authority. If the boss is out to lunch, ya gats to come back later. Nobody can tell you how much an hour that tractor is rent for. Heck the gal ain't even know her boss is rent tractor.

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DDK 1 month ago

"He was unable to tell reporters what the Minnis administration has spent on the probes, explaining that each audit has a varying degree of complexity, resulting in varying costs."

Fine, but WHAT ARE THE VARYING COSTS? Where is the transparency? Are the costs so ridiculously high that they cannot be revealed? Hopefully the auditors will not become the 'auditees'!

Do we NOW have an effective internal audit system in place in each agency, department or ministry manned or 'womanned' by persons other than kleptomaniacs?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

WHAT KIND OF MINISTER OF FINANCE WOULD PUBLICLY STATE THAT HE DOES NOT HAVE A HANDLE ON THE VERY SIGNIFICANT COSTS OF ALL THE AUDITS COMMISSIONED AND BALLYHOOED BY MINNIS? AN INCOMPETENT ONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE A HANDLE ON ALL THE OTHER WASTEFUL COSTS OF OUR GOVERNMENT!!

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licks2 1 month ago

ARE YOU AWARE OF THE THING IN THIS COUNTRY CALLED THE GAZETTE. . .ALL THAT INFORMATION IS RIGHT IN THERE MAN. . .STOP ACTING DUMB. . .CARRY YA LAZY BACKSIDE A READ. BUT WHAT ARE THE VARYING COSTS. . .THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT VARYING COSTS. . .IT EEN ALL IN ONE PLACE OR ON ONE LIMB SO THAT YOU CAN SAY SEE THEM THERE! YALL CALLING DOC CREW DUMB BUT THEY MAKING AZZES OF YINNA ALL THE TIME!! CHILL. . .STOP BEING DUMB! HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE. . . SOMEBODY NEEDS TO "LEARN" YALL DNAs SENSE ALL THE TIME AYE? ITS LIKE ASKING A PREGNANT WOMAN WHAT "IS" THE TOTAL COST OF HER PREGNANCY. . .INCLUDING BIRTH COSTS. . .WHILE SHE IS IN THE SIXTH MONTH!

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

Each Government Ministry/Department and Corporation/Commission must have an effective and competent internal audit department that must be accountable to the Cabinet & Auditor General Office ........ The Bahamian Government cannot sustain paying these private auditors to audit the Government because it will drain the Treasury AND undermine the credibility of the AUD.GEN. Office ......... The AudGen dept. must be expanded 100% and given more autonomy to become more efficient and effective (like the new DPP post).

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PatMac 1 month ago

Did the DPM admit to a fishing expedition and worse, that he doesnt care how much it costs the taxpayers???

"whatever is spent it is going to be beneficial to the country long term. It is money that I think is necessary to ensure that we discover what has happened (and) why it has happened."

WOW!!!

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

Audits are definitely the right way to go. But I believe they're being used as busy work. I don't believe the findings will be used to change anything.

Why? Look at the appointments they've made to head organizations. If you put Adrian Gibson as chairman of WSC, a Marketing manager to head Finance, Lanisha Rolle to head Social Services, Belinda Wilson to head education and Romy at environment, what do you really think you will achieve. If your objective is confusion, great choice.

Look over the past 8 months and you'll see that's just what you got. The conflicting and contradictory statements from the DPM, the industrial unrest at WSC over one "water hydrant", the barge that should have never been destroyed, but can't get cleaned up in Long Island and "marital rape is a private matter" and the demeaning and subsequent exit of your best people at social services all due to a petulant child

It's clear to me that you have no interest in seeing those organizations TRANSFORM. You've simply filled an available slot with someone YOU like, not the best person for the job. And again the persons named above have qualities that can be used somewhere, maybe even within the organization they were placed but certainly not in the top position, the only thing they can do is cause confusion through ill-informed decision and foster low morale as the people who are actually skilled , wonder why this person is directing them.

After the first two weeks It was clear what the FNM's priority was, it's 8 months out and it's more clear. Exactly what did we achieve by sending the Prime Ministers wife with a delegation to look at Japanese cars? The slogan for the past 8 months is "More of the same".

Watch the Singapore trip, #sightseers and campaign donors

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

Why are you so hard on my MP?????? ..... Time will tell as the status quo changes at WSC ........... Things have changed a lot since 10.05.17.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

I'm not hard on "him".my issue is with his appointment to the board. Why do you think these organizations never move forward? Over and over they are given weak political boards. And there's a method to it all, if you appoint a weak board when you call over and say do so and so, they will not say , sorry minister my duty is to the optimal running of the organization, they will do what you say. There are only two reasons to select someone as a director, either they are recognized as having extensive ultra successful business experience at the top levels of major corporations OR they are recognized broadly as having extensive technical knowledge or insight in the domain. Gibson has neither. Therefore his appointment can only be for the third reason manufactured in banana republics, "political pawn".

I guess that is harsh, but it's true. But I do not mean to imply that he is a bad man or that he does not have great potential. I would have placed someone like him under an experienced minister or civil servant to be mentored, and in five or ten years he'd make a good parliamentary secretary. We just have it all wrong. We seem to think that winning an election magically transforms these people into business gurus and it doesn't. We need to appoint business gurus where we need business gurus. This is really no different than the chaos Lunch Lady Reckley unleashed on Urban Renewal.

When you see staff in an uproar or good people suddenly resigning it's not by accident...somebody worked really hard to introduce chaos. Watch social services and looks like ZNS too

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licks2 1 month ago

He he he he he he he . . .black crabbing aye? I sorry for yinna politicians. . .can't think yasef outta a wet paper bag!! Chile look at yasef here. . .yoon making no sense there. . .green running through ya veins so much that you can't even see that yoon making much sense here. . .

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SP 1 month ago

Costs associated with these audits is irrelevant. The Minnis administration has no choice with auditing government departments if they expect to get a handle on where the country is financially and enable them to make necessary corrections and plot the way forward.

Everyone knows great wastage and pilferage of government resources has been out of control for decades. Auditing the government is way past due. It will identify and allow the elimination of decades of systemic corruption and piracy. They will discover plenty people that need to go to prison.

Unfortunately, there was no mention of auditing the office of prime minister which is most accountable, where all the problems originate due to poor, inept management of the countries affairs!

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Reality_Check 1 month ago

You're obviously an ardent Minnis supporter whose mind is in la la land. Qualified, competent and honest individuals force change for the better in organizations of any kind, including government departments, agencies, corporations, etc. - not outrageously costly audits motivated in the main by political theatre. And so far we have seen Minnis exercise terrible judgment in making vital appointments. Take as but one glaring example, the appointment of Marlon Johnson as Financial Secretary. As for anyone high up in the last Christie-led PLP government ever going to prison for a worthy spell, you can just dream on. Franky Wilson has certainly been at ease in making it quite well known to many of his friends that Minnis himself has a greater chance of being incarcerated than his son-in-law, Frank Smith. Sadly, I think the bright hope many of us had for positive change has since rightly dimmed considerably.

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SP 1 month ago

Blah, blah, blah. You are reasoning with your tribal colors instead of your brain.

Auditing the countries affairs, addressing leakages and piracy is THE ONLY way to find a base point of reference in which to make needed changes leading to a new direction of governance and accountability.

A fresh start is essential. Otherwise, the dysfunctional mass of corruption they inherited will be pinned squarely in their laps come 2022 by the same pirates that created and left the country in total chaos!

Anyone stupid enough to take over a failing enterprise without auditing the entire operation as a first step is stupid indeed!

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Reality_Check 1 month ago

The more you write, the more you reveal why you are a real loser.

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realfreethinker 1 month ago

Reality _check / well_mudda you are an even bigger loser. You refuse to look outside your little bubble. You expect tye current gov to do business as usual and get different results?. Like SP said the only way forward is to find the pitfalls and weakness in the system.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

Can't speak for Reality_Check, but I would bet my bubble is a whole lot bigger and more encompassing than yours ;-)

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bogart 1 month ago

SHOCKING AND ALARMING!!!

After all these change of govts it is progress that audits are done. Internally in all these govt entities there must be some way that DAILY acvountability for the peoples money is balanced.

While Mr Bastion has been doing a fine job the investigations into the Bank of the Bahamas would mean that he would have to go over the business of a former Auditor General whose Chairmanship has witnesses even a lawsuit regarding the rugualtors the Central Bank.

Not only will the loans defaulted on and put into Resolve need to be investigated but all loans given the high default rate and the long existing challenges. While much attention has been placed on big loans APPROVED and defaulted ALSO other loans need to be investigated to see who were DENIED and who were victimized.

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Ma Comrade Imperial Braddas Peter, Desmond, Jefferey and Minnis and the collection crown members Imperial 'red shorts' cabinet couldn't navigate their way out of a bag if Andros crabs were biting them in their asses.Why don't they just admit to defeat at governing whilst knowingly blowing millions dollars public purse monies to pay auditing fees and they still don't know shi@ more about how, who got's how much dollars and where hundreds millions dollars public purse's monies were spent? So far we have one discover for one Fire Hydrant valued at $1,024.92. and its even doubtful its missing discovery arouse from conducting an audit? {Why bother make a $1,024.92 missing Fire Hydrant heist crime story caper, up?}. Is it possible that a government can fall over a $1,024.92 simple story about a missing Fire Hydrant?

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

People, If you cannot believe this, Tal has a fire hydrant to sell you!!! ... BOL

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Ma Comrade Bradda Sheeprunner12, is it lost you of the quickness of the discovery missing item, the arrest, charging, conviction and sentencing ever known occur in Bahamaland's court system - just so happened to be over a 'red shorts' government's missing $1,024.92 Fire Hydrant? {Why make this up?}. Don't you too not wants know if the gone missing Fire Hydrant was as a result one them millions dollars public purse's auditing processes? Remember, its $1,024.92 and did the government actually recover full and complete possession said Fire Hydrant? To me this is important stuff get answers to.

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hrysippus 1 month ago

A #SuperCrony for life is the job for me ...... .... Appointed by Shameless of the PLP. .......... .............. .. Hundreds of thousands for as long as I live, ....... ........ .... ... Deducting only that which Shameless asks me to give, ............ .... ... A SuperCrony for life is the job for me, .......... ... ...... .... Full medical insurance and a car for free, ........ ... ... .... ... Housing allowance and no gas bill to pay, .................. .......... ... ... You got to vote PLP and it helps if you're gay,.. .. ..... ,, ,,,,,, SuperCrony for life is the job for me, ............... .... .... .... If Shameless isn't around then check with Christie. .. ... .... ..

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

Or Brave, Fitzie or Gray ......... BOL ........ Sure hope they prepare some cells for them in HMPrisons

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