I have no quarrel with audit of AGD, says Monroe Ellis

I have no quarrel with audit of AGD, says Monroe Ellis

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS
Senior staff reporter
saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis yesterday made it clear that she takes no issue with the anticipated tabling of a report on the operations of her department in Parliament.

She was responding to an article published in this newspaper yesterday on the Government’s intention to table the first audit report on the Auditor General’s Department (AGD) in some 10 years.

The matter has been doggedly pursued by Deputy House Leader Everald Warmington over several administrations, with the veteran Member of Parliament insisting that like other government departments, the AGD should also be audited.

“I have no quarrel with anyone regarding the provision of reports to the House based on an audit of the Auditor General’s Department. I am in full support of that. However, I was concerned about the wording of the article and thought it fit to raise the issue because of the impact that it has on the department, which is really bigger than me,” Monroe Ellis stated during yesterday’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting.

She argued, however, that the Ministry of Finance has in fact carried out a review of the department every year.

“Why the report is not tabled, I cannot provide an explanation for that. However, it would not be fair to say for 17 years a report was not tabled, because it was under a revision of the FAA (Financial Accounts and Audit) Act in 2010 that made it a requirement for the audit report emanating from an audit of the Auditor General’s Department to be tabled in the House. I cannot accept any responsibility for the content or the form which that report takes when it comes to the House today,” she said.

Warmington had argued in the House earlier this year that the AGD is not having its own operations probed, despite the fact that it audits every government agency. Describing the situation as “a damn shame”, he insisted that all reviews of the AGD going back 10 years be presented to the House.

At yesterday’s PAC meeting, Warmington read the Jamaica Observer article in full, insisting that he did not see the cause for concern or for anyone to “burst a blood vessel”, as he had repeatedly raised the issue publicly.

“I don’t need anyone to recommend to me what issue I need to take to Parliament or raise in Parliament. I have served in this House for 20 years and never need this advice before. I need to see what section of this article I need to withdraw or apologise (for)…the article clearly states that I have raised this in Parliament every single year. I need to see the report and I’m not willing to accept any two years; it must go back for all the years… they have never been laid,” Warmington insisted.

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