St. Vincent and the Grenadines (iWitness News) – Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday says that he welcomes, among the strategic priorities of the Department of Audit for next year, audits of the government’s disaster response programme.
“The strategic priorities of the Department of Audit, I note that one of the things that they have indicated that they wish to do in the coming year is to conduct an audit or audits of the disaster relief programmes that were administered by government during the last year,” Friday said during Tuesday’s debate of the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2022, which mounts to EC$1.32 billion
“It says one of the key strategic activities for 2022 is to conduct two post-audits of disaster expenditure to determine whether public funds and resources mobilised in response to COVID-19 and the eruption of La Soufriere volcano were used for the purpose intended, and that procedures employed conform to existing legislation policies and accounting practices.”
Friday said that he looks forward to such audits.
He noted that in 2020, as Parliament debated supplementary appropriations in response to the COVID-19 and this year for volcano relief, opposition lawmakers proposed a broad-based approach.
He noted that the opposition has called for a special parliamentary committee to help to look into the needs and the funding and how the funds were being distributed.
“We said that the mechanisms that are in place are already sufficient and we should use them, never mind that the reports of the Director of Auditor are six years behind. So I welcome this initiative. And I hope that the resources will be provided and that the work will be completed in 2022, as the document promises here. It’s not going to be good enough for us to get it four or five years down the road,” the opposition leader said.