Minister Edghill: 2019 and 2020 audit reports must be examined separately  
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill

MINISTER of Public Works and member of the Public Accounts Committee, Juan Edghill, has contended that the 2019 and 2020 audit reports must be carefully examined given the unique circumstances of that period.

Minister Edghill expressed the view on Monday on the sidelines of an event where he added that the Auditor General’s reports for 2019 and 2020 must be examined separately to provide the necessary time to delve into the details of the report.

According to Edghill, “We’re making it very clear that the year 2019 and 2020 cannot be merged and handled together,” he said.

Speaking specifically of 2019, he noted that it was the first time that there was a government functioning that was not legitimate or not lawfully in place and was at the time a caretaker government that fell, subsequent to the passage of a No Confidence motion.

This period, he said, cannot be glossed over as if everything was well and added that this year must be examined with a level of scrutiny that did not exist before.

“There was no Parliament, there was no oversight and you had a government that was holding on for their life by a thread, that was doing everything possible to get re-elected,” the minister expressed.

Adding to this, he noted that 2020 was another special year as there was an election in March with the new government officially taking office in August. The budget for that year did not come on stream until October.

As such, he added that the PAC has to be able to examine all that transpired between the time that the elections concluded and the expenditures until August, while also examining how these expenditures were brought to the book via the budgetary process.

While reports for years have been examined combined before, Edghill noted that that takes place in normal circumstances, and as such, there is no way that these two years can be compared to any other two years that have been examined in that way.

“We’re talking about a different time in the history of Guyana, a government falling as a result of a no-confidence motion, and a period after an election of five months when a government continued to spend while they were not even supposed to remain in office, so both years needs [sic] to be carefully managed,” he said.

On the government’s side of the PAC, the Public Works Minister made it clear that they will not be supporting the examination of the 2019 and 2020 Auditor General reports together.


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