New financial accounts needed at City Hall
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Auditor General Deodat Sharma
Auditor General Deodat Sharma

–Auditor General says

THE Auditor General, Deodat Sharma, has recommended that the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown close their financial books and start anew with fresh accounts, which will enable the Audit Office of Guyana to properly audit the entity.

Sharma announced this recommendation at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre on Monday, while speaking with reporters on the sidelines of the handing over of the Report of the Auditor General on the Public Accounts of Guyana and on the accounts of ministries, departments, and regions for the fiscal year which ended December 31, 2020.

With the Audit Office currently undertaking an Audit of City Hall, the Auditor General said that the municipality had submitted its draft financial report, but it is not in compliance with the requisite legislation.

“They have submitted their draft financial report but it is not in compliance with the Act… for example, the balance sheets… it just gives a list of budgeted assets, that’s not how you prepare a balance sheet, so we have returned it for it to be corrected,” Sharma said.

He also related that most importantly, there is a gap for several years in terms of financial reporting at City Hall. The last audit of City Hall was in 2004, and the municipality submitted financial statements for only 2019 and 2020.

“What I’ve advised several entities, including them, is let’s close the books, open new books, take an asset of what is there and let’s start fresh… get a new bank account and everything, because it doesn’t make sense to go back to 2005, 2006,” he said.

The Auditor General added: “Let’s sit down, list all the assets that we have, list all the cash positions and let’s start a new balance sheet, at least from now on your accounts can be audited.”

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