Ancil Dennis

Chief secretary Ancil Dennis says that steps will be taken to synchronise operations between the Auditor General’s Department and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to address long-standing accounting issues in the THA.

One of these steps includes the establishment of a training development centre.

“I am taking to the Executive Council, for its consideration, the appointment of an audit oversight committee within the THA, which will comprise of the chief administrator, the administrator of the Division of Finance and Economy, the director of finance, the senior financial analyst, the most senior auditor in the THA, the chief management accountant.”

He said the committee, which will be established in August, will be responsible for ensuring that all steps of the auditing process are followed and that accountability is not left up to a single individual.

He said all THA divisions will also be issued a list of protocols and step by step guidelines for accounting officers to oversee the accounting process.

The chief secretary said another critical area to be addressed is the storage and filing of documents.

“If I’m an auditor and I come to audit and you introduce me to a room where documents are wet or scattered all over the place, I don’t want to have anything to do with it, so we have a lot of work to do within the THA and we are taking steps to remedy that,” Dennis said.

He said the immediate target is to address the 2010, 2011 and 2017 periods, which are still outstanding.