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Senator for N.G.Os Ask for More Accountability for Monies Spent

Mar 30, 2023

Senator for N.G.Os Ask for More Accountability for Monies Spent

Janelle Chanona

During the Senate debate on Wednesday, Senator for the N.G.O. community, Janelle Chanona thanked the Minister of State in Finance, Chris Coye, Financial Secretary, Joe Waight and the Ministry of Finance team for meeting with the senators prior to the debate to brief them on the draft estimates for expenditure and revenues for the new fiscal year. But she also said there needs to be a better system of accountability for public funds and expressed appreciation for training that has now commenced among public officers who keep records on how government funds are managed.

Janelle Chanona, Senator, N.G.Os

“Earlier this year, and as a part of the Joint Public Accounts Committee hearings, parliamentarians and the nation, because it was a public hearing broadcast, heard from key members of the administration, including the Accountant and Auditor-Generals, confirmation that reconciliation of government accounts, approximately eight thousand of them, if memory serves, are not being reconciled as they should, both in terms of frequency and just practice. We call this out because it’s not just a part of basic financial protocols, but it’s also called for under the law. And perhaps just as significantly, no one is really being held accountable. It’s a lot of finger-pointing. We are comforted, then, by the update provided last week at that briefing that there are trainings happening right now, this week, for finance officers on reconciliation. So that’s important to call out that this is looking to happen or is going to be enforced and enhanced where it has been happening because finance one o one, Madam President, is not just general practice, it’s essential for landing at the actuals of the state of the finances. This is where we need to figure out where it is that we’re actually are, what we actually need to spend, what we actually need to call out. So whether that’s happening daily, weekly, monthly, it’s also going to be key in revealing discrepancies, irregularities where monies are being fleeced and efficiencies exist.”