ACCOUNTING PRACTICES in “many” government departments and ministries fall short. Acting General Accountant Dane Coppin expressed concern about the “weakness” of internal controls in these agencies. He also pointed out the lack of internal controls and surprise inspections.
The issues were raised in the Accountant General’s report for fiscal year 2014-2015. The investigations revealed that similar concerns were highlighted in the 2013-2014 report, which, like the most recent, contained financial statements that were âpresented to the Auditor General for auditâ.
Reporting on internal reviews of government departments and ministries, the accountant general said: âAudits carried out during the year revealed that internal controls within many departments and ministries remain weak and greater attention should be paid to improving these systems.
âElectronic accounting and reporting systems, which are an integral part of management and accounting functions, are still not used by many senior managers in the accounting section.
“This results in many errors and omissions, which should be identified early, undetected until identified by Treasury staff or the Auditor General during their reviews and audits.”
He added: âThe Financial Management and Auditing Act requires internal checks and surprise inspections to be carried out by the various ministries and departments, but they are still not carried out.
Coppin also said there was “a continued need for management training at the supervisory level in most ministries / departments”. The “lack of training at this level has a negative impact, in many cases, on the functioning of these departments,” he added.
He noted, however, that âthere has been some improvement with regard to the level of application and / or implementation of the recommendations made by the Accountant General in the audit reports prepared and sent to the accountants of the various ministries â.
These recommendations are based on the requirements of the Financial Management Audit Act and Financial rules, as well as on international internal audit standards.
Ongoing assistance âcontinues to be provided to departments on the basis of individual requests and as part of the internal audit unit’s normal review cycleâ.
However, the accountant general said “with the increase in the number of requests and the limited resources of the department, it is still an uphill struggle to reach the level of assistance required by the ministries and departments”.
The training of staff in the area of ââinternal audit âalso remains a challengeâ.
In April 2007, the government moved its accounting and reporting systems from cash to accrual accounting. This saw the Financial Management and Audit Act repealed and replaced by the Financial Management and Auditing Act.
New reporting requirements have been established, including the General Accountant to submit a âfull set of accruals statements, including a statement of financial performance, statement of financial position, statement of cash flows, a statement of accounting policies and supporting notes to the financial statement. declaration”.