Missing Customs Files result in $16 million revenue losses
AUDITOR GENERAL Pamela Monroe Ellis on Tuesday told members of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) that someone should be held accountable for 14 files that went missing at Jamaica Customs in 2009, which caused the agency to give up more than $16 million in revenue.
The Government revenue oversight body said the 14 case files contained assessments and penalties totalling $16.25 million. "As there is no evidence of the assessments conducted by the JCA, the amounts should be treated as revenue losses in accordance with Section 83(b) (ii) of the Financial Management Regulations," the auditor general explained.
Head of Jamaica Customs Agency Major Richard Reese said to date only one of the files has been recovered.
misplaced in relocation
He told the PAC that the files were misplaced during a relocation exercise at the agency.
"We have written to request a write-off, but the Ministry of Finance has requested additional information," Reese said.
There was a relocation exercise in 2009, at which time the files were misplaced.
He said the agency has not been able to recreate the files from existing records.
However, Monroe Ellis is insisting that during a relocation exercise effort should have been made to properly secure documents that were of significance.
"I do not believe it is beyond them to determine who is responsible for the misplacement of these files and that someone should be held to account," said Monroe Ellis.
Jamaica Customs Agency in a report to the PAC said standard operating procedures have been developed to address the security of records.