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Parliament needs special section to teach MPs about querying Public Accounts – Trotman

House Speaker, Raphael Trotman receiving Auditor General, Deodat Sharma’s Report for Fiscal Year 2013.

House Speaker, Raphael Trotman on Tuesday recommended that Parliament Office set up a separate section to teach and brief members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) what to look for in the Auditor General’s Report so that they can ask the right questions at hearings.

Trotman floated the idea of a Budget Control Office in remarks just before receiving the 2013 Auditor General’s Report from  Auditor General Deodat Sharma. The report was handed over immediately to the Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs who would keep the voluminous document securely until it is laid in the 65-seat National Assembly.

“I think that the MPs need to have the services of a fully-functioning Budget Control Office so that when they come to review the document they know exactly what they should be looking for, what to ask for how to ask,” he said.

The Speaker said he would be speaking with representatives of the political parties in the House about the need for a Budget Control Office of experts. He noted that at times PAC members ask the same question repeatedly to which the same answer is provided.

The Auditor General, for his part, highlighted that the Audit Office has been receiving training and technical assistance through a US$325,000 Inter American Development Bank (IDB) and Guyana Government project. The Audit Office also benefitted from training through the Canadian Executive Services Organisation (CESO), the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation and the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and the Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI).

“We would also seek to continue our capacity building initiatives, especially in the area of Value for Money, Information Technology Audits as well as other core areas. We also intend to reach out to our stakeholders, especially those in the hinterland regions.

The Auditor General announced that persons could anonymously report corrupt transactions to the Audit Office at  http://www.audit.org.gy/