September 25, 2016

These forensic audits

Dear Editor,

I have been seeing the numerous reports in the Media about these forensic audits that were commissioned by the APNU/AFC government.  What have appeared thus far, point to findings that are highly questionable and more akin to a motive of causing public embarrassment rather than professionals doing their work within the code of conduct of their profession.

I have mentioned before that Accountants are governed by a Law and there is code of conduct that these legally approved professionals abide by. Leaks and public disclosures are not part of the code.

The right of taking into account the response of those persons in the entities being investigated is sacrosanct and certainly the principle of Natural Justice dictates that persons who are accused be given the right to reply.

Hot on the heels of (never legally registered) Anand Goolsarran’s

prejudiced findings, come those of Nigel Hinds who makes a lot of noise about the tendering process and competitive bidding yet he accepts forensic audits which were never tendered, but assigned by his friends in the APNU/AFC government. Talk about double standards, wow.

What a shame on President Granger, his Cabinet and his Government that the high standards of principles in government that they preached during the campaign, have been tossed out the window.

President Granger and his opposition colleagues in the last Parliament passed many resolutions with their one-seat majority and they extolled, expounded and exacted about the sanctity of the National Assembly, and the will of the representatives of the people.

There is a sacred process of dealing with Audits of the State’s resources in our country and that is via the Public Accounts Committee.

Here when the Auditor General presents his report, the leaders of the accounting units that are reported on by the AG, they get the chance of confronting their accuser in the highest forum of the land.  The Auditor General is never the investigator and the judge.

A Committee comprising representatives from Government and Opposition gives the person(s) a hearing with respect to the findings and opinions of the Auditor General.

These forensic audits are plastered about in the public via carefully orchestrated leaks and leakage of findings that are contentious. For what purpose?  Witch-hunting? Settling scores? Political optics?

President Granger should send these forensic audits to the

Parliament – the Public Accounts Committee. Give those who have been accused of wrong doings the opportunity to answer to the highest forum of the land.

The auditors and authors of these forensic reports will have their chance of defending their conclusions and findings. Let the PAC give its recommendation. This is democracy; this is decency; this is the principle you publicly preached, President, since you became a politician.

Editor, thanks for your kind consideration in publishing my views.

Sincerely,

Manzoor Nadir

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