Government still breaking spending rules

| 17/01/2018 | 20 Comments

(CNS): The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has concerns that government officials are still not following the proper process when it spends public money especially when contracting sole suppliers to do government business. In her latest report reviewing government’s financial reporting, although she acknowledged improvements on preventing fraud, Auditor General Sue Winspear raised the issue of non-compliance when it comes to the laws about spending public cash. 

“We found a number of examples of  non-compliance with relevant laws and regulations,” she said in the report, “Financial Reporting of the Cayman Islands Government: General Report 30 June 2015 & 2016”, which was released yesterday. “We continue to find instances of procurements not being carried out in accordance with the financial regulations, especially sole source procurements which inevitably were not competitively tendered.”

Although Winspear did not name or shame the specific public authorities or list how many had breached tendering rules, she said that officials had to begin managing their government departments in line with these newly adopted procedures and anti-fraud policies.

She said that while sole tendering can sometimes be appropriate, there should be “documented justifications and formal approvals for not following a competitive process”, which was usually missing.

In the conclusion of her report, Winspear commended the significant improvements in public financial reporting but she also raised a number of issues that needed addressing, including the failure to follow rules and regulations. The weaknesses in the internal control environments and governance of certain entities created an increased risk of mismanagement and abuse of public money, she said.

Risk management was also criticized and the report noted that many entities in government still do not have the necessary robust arrangements in place to manage it. This means that public departments may be failing to meet their obligations and objectives or are delivering public services at a greater costs than was budgeted.

Winspear also noted that some of the government’s statutory authorities and government companies (SAGCs) do not have the organisational or skills capacity they need to properly manage their finances. The Tourism Attraction Board and the housing trust were highlighted as examples where duties surrounding their finances are not properly segregated, leaving the entities at increased risk of fraud, mismanagement and abuse.

The OAG has issued some specific reports to some of these public authorities pointing out the problems and dangers from the shortcomings that the auditors found.

See the OAG’s latest report in the CNS Library

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Category: Government Finance, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (20)

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  1. Iva Hadnov says:

    Winspear for Premier!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    haleluyah amen!??

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Lodge!” opps, i better be careful….they powerful y have high connections!!!????

  4. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

  5. Anonymous says:

    Been going on forever…
    -breaking up contracts/goods to avoid procurement process
    -late bids with insider blind bid info
    -low bid award with continuous cost overruns which are not subject to procurement process
    How do you think CarePay scam was so successful? Btw when is our ex Minister of Health and Sports going to be taken to task like his buddies for that one and the CIFA scandal? Lodge protection?

  6. Tut alors!. says:

    Vitually all Government revenue is spent on Civil Servants so that money has to be borrowed for capital projects. Why is it then that our Civil Service is one of the most inept and inefficient in the world. Shame on them.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have raised this issue on several occasions – why can each dept order its own vehicles for use by employees? Why does it have to be full size cabin pick up trucks for people who spend all day sitting behind their desk?

    No dept should be able to order their own vehicles, it needs to be centralized and monitored properly.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Say it ain’t so!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’d love to read about the Tourism Attraction Board’s rationale for all of their quirky, expensive, boneheaded, low-impact initiatives over the years.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Coconut Fest” . lol

    • R. Smith says:

      What is the tourism attraction board? oh that place that overseas wasteful spending like craft market and pirates week. Isnt’t there another tourism department that could do the same ting. Pedro catsle is nice though and the botanic garden thingy is nice.

    • R.smith says:

      Ya. Paying a full time employee yo manage 20 or vendors at the imported craft market …eho nows what pirate’s weeks cost . That could be privatised…i am sure now one would touch it after finding out how much den bosses make year round for s one time event….change nah

  10. Anonymous says:

    i’m sure heads will roll…not.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Must be Trumps fault, or Americans in general. Surely not a Caymanian problem….never is

    • Let us thank Mrs Winspear for the great job she is doing, following in the steps of several previous Auditor Generals some of whom had a torrid time from a previous Premier, who had not a clue about accounting and transparency. The role is not an easy one and long may she continue her good work with the assistance of what must be a very good department.

      • West bay Premier says:

        I completely agree Chris , and I said before if any Political figure would try to get rid of Mrs Winspear everyone should rise up in her defense because she is the only chance for you Taxpayers .

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you care?

      • West bay Premier says:

        Anonymous 11:41pm , how cowardly you post a comment and you hide behind Anonymous, and you don’t say who you are referring to in your comment, and you get all thumbs down to the comment . Grow a pair and say what you mean and stop hiding then maybe you would get some thumbs up .


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