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300 Bamsi Payment Records Go Missing: Lost Paperwork Hindering Audit

Tennyson Wells

Tennyson Wells

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE completion of the audit into the Bahamas Agriculture & Marine Science Institute has been prolonged as the auditors hunt for information concerning hundreds of disbursements, BAMSI chairman Tennyson Wells said yesterday.

Auditors from Pannell, Kerr & Foster International have been performing analytics on BAMSI’s accounting data and procedures.

“They’ve been trying to verify that the cheques and wire transfers were used in connection with the goods and services they should’ve been used for,” Mr Wells said. “They sampled 900 [disbursements] but they couldn’t locate cheques and supporting documentation for 300 of those. Auditors advised us that they don’t feel comfortable dealing with the issue until a significant number of those cheques are located.

“When they were trying to finish the audit three, four months ago and couldn’t locate any information on the cheques or wire transfers they went to the bank for the information and it has been a long process getting info. Certainly, I would say the banks have not been as cooperative as they could be though I understand they’ve started to assist.”

In analysing the disbursements, the auditors will review supporting documentation, invoices, documented approvals and whatever information is needed to ensure the transactions were legitimate and proper. 

The missing cheques and the lack of supporting documents for some payments is a huge concern, Mr Wells said, one that has already forced BAMSI to adjust its internal controls and make personnel changes.

“We have appointed a new acting financial controller,” he said. “There was shake up in the financial section and human resources section because the auditors felt the cheques and documents should’ve been available. You shouldn’t be running around months looking for these things. The information should be right there.”

Mr Wells said a couple of people in the finance department have resigned during the course of the audit investigation, though he wouldn’t say if they were pressured to leave.

The BAMSI audit is expected to cost less than $100,000.

The release of the audit was expected months ago. Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells, who at the time was minister of agriculture, said last year that it would be ready by June 2018.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 11 months, 1 week ago

Just another shining example of Minnis's inability to exercise good judgement with political appointments. Who in their right mind would even consider appointing someone with Tennyson Wells' reputation as chairman of BAMSI, a government program fraught with fraud and controversy from day one? That's the equivalent of putting a big hungry tom cat in a pigeon coop. Minnis really needs to get his head examined.

And Wells, true to form, will throw everyone at BAMSI under the bus before admitting his own failures and possible wrong doing. What a joke!

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proudloudandfnm 11 months, 1 week ago

Have to agree 100% Wells is not the man for any job with any kind of responsibility...

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ThisIsOurs 11 months, 1 week ago

You assume that they didn't appoint exactly the right person. Look at finance.

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Sickened 11 months, 1 week ago

My Lord! Why do all the same old faces continually pop up at the head of this and that? Politics really is just a prolonged retirement party!

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John 11 months, 1 week ago

Will this just be another case of, ‘O we found them! They were there all the while, we just overlooked them.’ And of course Bahamians are growing wary of these false flags.

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TalRussell 11 months, 1 week ago

Yes, yes reverse your thinking 365 days ago and up to yesterday never did the BAMSI chairman comrade Tennyson Wells, nor any other elected or appointed member Imperial red shirts governing guard,.ever publicly called out for his Imperial red shirts to brungs in investigative auditors from Pannell, Kerr & Foster International to assist the Commish Policeman's to help him in the Commish's year long unsuccessful search for the "missing" for 365 days now OBAN documents - not missing from custody former PLP administration but gone 'missing' from custody of the Imperial red shirts governing forces, yes, no....... Obvious conclusion, all depends on if documents would have gone "missing" from PLP's or Imperial red shirts custody and what the definition Imperial red shirts have placed on the important OBAN documents gone "missing" is, is, yes, no remains puzzle how OBAN important documents gone"missing" for 365 days now and not even Commish Policeman's can locate them "missing" documents, yes, no..... somebody must know what Fuc# happened to the "missing" OBAN documents, yes, fair question asks?

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bogart 11 months, 1 week ago

CAN'T......FINDS DA MISSING......CHEQUES.....PAPERWORK....??????.......MABYE JUS SAY DA GOATS..... ATE DA ....PAPERS....WID DA EVIDENCE.....CAUSE NOONE .....SEEMS......PART OF.......NONFESANCE......MISFESANCE......MALFESANCE......out a some 20,000 public servants...govt.....agemcies.....hundreds of millions of dollars.....even accuses....some 2.5 billion cant finds.....$200 to $500 million worth corruption.....mussey like only one female employee...gets caught an punished......why tax taxpayers an aint gettin value for dere money....for performance.....to show a vaudeville song an dance show.....

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hj 11 months, 1 week ago

Missing records on a government run entity. This is a surprise. In the meantime all business persons please keep accurate records otherwise the tax department will fine you

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sheeprunner12 11 months, 1 week ago

Godfrey Eneas knows where the skeletons are buried ......... Just go by Wendell Jones Office on Thompson Blvd ........ That is where Eneas hangs out daily.

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sheeprunner12 11 months, 1 week ago

Or check the bank whereon the BAMSI checks were issued and cashed.

Why is Tennyson Wells ........ a money hawk lawyer finding this so difficult???? ........... Sounds fishy - even from this old slippery fella.

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TalRussell 11 months, 1 week ago

Yes, yes ma comrade Sheeprunner, but regardless Godfrey Eneas would not be expected knows where the important 'missing' from custody Imperial red shirts - 'missing' now 365 days OBAN important documents are buried, yes no.....asks if you're as knowledgeable about who be's red shirts that should know where be's important 'missing' now 365 days, important OBAN documents, yes, no?

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sheeprunner12 11 months, 1 week ago

Why are you still making these foot-in-mouth comments, Tal?????

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TalRussell 11 months, 1 week ago

If you like I can takes me foot out me mouth answer you - but my answer has be blunt, yes, no?

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killemwitdakno 11 months, 1 week ago

What's been the decrease in lost and stolen funds since FNM?

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paul_vincent_zecchino 11 months, 1 week ago

Well, from the look of it, might auditors be wise to question his haberdasher?

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killemwitdakno 11 months, 1 week ago

They clearly never heard of Intuit, Quickbooks, etc.

Why haven't agencies started using cards to track expenses yet?!! Cards can sync with expense tracking apps these days.

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EasternGate 11 months, 1 week ago

What bullshit! Some one has to be accountable!

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