PAC orders ministry to hand over NSWMA audits to Monroe Ellis
Acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government Dionne Jennings has been ordered by Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to hand over two critical audits of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to the auditor general's office.
Two audits, one done by the internal auditor at the NSWMA and the other conducted by the Ministry of Local Government, are to be submitted to the Pamela Monroe Ellis-led Auditor General's Department for urgent analysis.
The first audit done by the internal auditor raised eyebrows as there was no documented proof to support payments totalling $800 million. However, at the PAC meeting in Gordon House on Tuesday, Jennings said the agency has now found documentary evidence to cover $700 million of the money spent.
Currently, the NSWMA is still to provide documentary proof for the balance of $100 million.
questions from shaw
Jennings comments drew queries from committee chairman Audley Shaw and committee member Everald Warmington who wanted to know why the documents had not been presented to the internal auditor during the audit of the agency.
"If they are able to find those supporting documents now, why were they not able to find them during the period of the audit," Warmington charged.
Responding, Jennings said that "there have been problems with the NSWMA in terms of records management and storage of documents".
The NWSMA also came under fire from the auditor general for its laxity in submitting annual reports and financial statements to Parliament. At present there are eight outstanding annual reports from the NSWMA.
The agency's last audited financial statement was for financial year 2004-2005.
Section 12 of the NSWMA Act states that "the authority shall keep proper accounts and other records in relation to its functions and shall prepare annually a statement of accounts in a form satisfactory to the minister and conforming to established accounting principles".
In the absence of financial statements for at least eight years, committee member Karl Samuda wanted to know on what basis the permanent secretary assessed the work of the management of the NSWMA.