Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter
BRUISED BY reports late last year of a litany of breaches it committed, the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) is taking steps to correct violations identified by the Auditor General's Department (AGD) during an information systems review.
Acting chairman of the electoral body, Dr Herbert Thompson, said the ECJ has already advertised for external auditors to audit financial statements of the institution.
The auditor general had rapped the electoral body last year for not submitting audited financial reports to Parliament from its inception in 2006.
The ECJ is required to produce these statements in accordance with Section 16 of the Electoral Commission (Interim) Act.
Responding to a query as to whether the salary of the deputy director of elections was regularised, Thompson told The Gleaner that the individual was in the middle of his contract.
The AGD had found in its audit that the ECJ ignored a directive of the Ministry of Finance to pay the deputy director of elections at a certain level.
This had resulted in an excess salary payment of $4.66 million to the deputy director of elections for the period September 2010 to March 2012.
However, the acting head of the electoral body said he would be seeking a meeting with minister with responsibility for electoral matters Phillip Paulwell to ascertain "if we could hold things the way they are until his contract comes to an end".
Thompson said that the electoral body was addressing all the points of concern in the auditor general's systems audit.
"We intend to be in compliance," said Thompson, noting that there would not be a repeat of the breaches identified by the auditor general.
Meanwhile, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen is said to be in the process of identifying a new selected commissioner for the ECJ.
The acting ECJ chairman told The Gleaner that King's House would be making an announcement in the coming weeks about a proposed new appointment.
Thompson is expected to succeed Professor Errol Miller, who resigned from the post on December 31 after serving the electoral body for six years.
However, his position cannot be confirmed until a new selected commissioner is appointed at which time all four selected commissioners are expected to give Thompson the nod as chairman.