Auditor General Dorothy Bradley has fingered the Government of Belize for being unable to reconcile 22 accounts as part of its annual audit exercise which resulted in an adverse review. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow responded by noting that that is in the province of public servants and not their political overlords, but he committed to seeking improvements.
“I’m concerned that we still don’t completely have our house in order but things like a lack of reconciliation…I’m not blaming public officers…but that’s hardly the sort of thing that the political directorate can ensure will take place in a manner that will cause the Auditor-General to be completely satisfied. Ultimately, we have a responsibility and so we must continue to press, but I suspect those sorts of delinquencies are like the poor…they’ll be with us always. I repeat, it doesn’t mean that we don’t keep trying.
Speaking generally in terms of the report the Prime Minister said he is satisfied that the house is for the most part in order.
In terms of contracts being done after works have been performed….perhaps that’s a little more problematic. In fact I would say it’s a little more problematic. But again there are exceptional circumstances where you shouldn’t, but you do move quickly because you feel that there’s a certain urgency to the case…as long as by the time payments are finally made there would have been the proper certification as to what is to be paid…there would have been an approval of the contract, even ex post facto, by the Contractor General…I don’t know that we should get all bent out of shape with respect to things like that. I repeat they ought not to happen…but… look, you’re not talking about any case of fraud … you’re not talking about any case of any politician or public servant having made off with monies. I will be very happy that that’s not the case and as I say, insist that we try to do better with respect to those issues that are very much disclosed in consequence to the report… and that basically will be that. ”