Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceno has expressed grave concern that the figures presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his forecasts of the upcoming fiscal year are not matching up. Prime Minister Barrow says the economy will grow with a primary surplus of 3.5% but aside from saying that new tax measures will provide $88 million dollars to Government coffers, he has not detailed how this will be achieved. A major challenge to keeping the PM honest is the fact that the data presented in his budget hasn’t been audited by the Auditor General’s office. Briceno said when the PUP gets into Government; every Ministry will have to keep proper financial records.
Honourable John Briceno - leader of the Opposition People’s United Party
“One of the things that we want to do is to be able to strengthened the auditor General’s office and to make the monies available to them so that they could bring in Auditors to audit every ministry; every year every ministry must be audited and the public officers have to give account for the monies that they get and how they spend it and they has to be fully accounted, when you look at some auditor some of the reports from the Auditor General where they say ministries refuse to cooperate with them there are many instances where bank account can’t balance for the life of me I can’t understand how you can’t balance your bank account, every CEO or permanent secretary or accounting officer must give account for every cent that they get and how they spend every single cent, it is cheaper to invest some monies to get auditors so that they could check up to ensure that the monies are properly being spent and accounted for that is a commitment and I am prepared to make right now on record that that is what one of the things that we are going to do once we get into government.”
The Auditor General’s office is fully funded by the Prime Minister’s office. In her annual reports, she makes note of the need for more financial support.