Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2020. 2:57 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: The Public Service Union (PSU) takes the view that the Government of Belize (GOB) must do more than simply make budget cuts in order to make the necessary changes to government spending that will help Belize’s economy recover for COVID-19, and stresses adequate auditing by the Auditor General will play a key role going forward.
In its recommendations for cost-cutting measures to GOB, the PSU said that there is available research that proves cutting budgets as a means of forcing efficiency out of the private sector is ineffective. The union noted that it believes the Auditor General’s office does not do sufficient audits of government ministries and departments, which needs to change; however, the union also stressed that the office needs to be given the proper resources to carry out its functions.
“The Office of the Auditor General needs to be properly staffed with well trained personnel so as to be able to more frequently and effectively undertake audits of Departments and Ministries and provide reports thereon,” the PSU said.
Notably, there have been several Auditor General Reports over the past few years that have made headlines due to the salacious nature of the findings. In January the Auditor General’s report on Julian Cho Technical High School for the period April 2014 to September 2016, showed that the school issued contracts for works that totaled over $2.2 million, which goes against the Finance Reform Act.
The Auditor General’s Special Audit Report of the Immigration and Nationality Department also revealed numerous procedural breaches within the department which played a key role in the internal “Citizen Kim” incident, where a South Korean national who was in a Taiwanese detention facility ended up with a Belizean passport.
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