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Youth ministry needs funds to bring audits up to date

Published:Wednesday | November 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM

We commend Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna for her ministry's recent response to our earlier column.

Following our column of November 5, Hanna's reply indicates that the Ministry of Finance has apparently set a deadline of December 2015 for all government agencies to bring their annual accounts up to date.

This is good news. Let's see if it happens.

The ministry also indicated that it is insufficiently staffed to do the necessary auditing and are apparently having problems getting the incremental funding to hire experts and to eliminate the backlog.

Perhaps the ministry should consider paring back some of their programmes to produce the necessary funding.

The ministry is correct in criticising this column for attributing certain comments to the minister. In fact, the comments came in a written response from her ministry.

The ministry previously inferred that their annual accounts cannot be sent out to the public until the audit is finished. This may have been the practice but it is a wrong practice.

The minister should ensure that all entities under her control make public their accounts on a current basis.

These accounts should be available whether or not the entity is an independent one or one that accounts for its finances within the ministry (or subsidiary) budget - for example, the National Gallery of Jamaica, Liberty Hall and the African Caribbean Institute/Jamaica Memory Bank.

This column reviews the audited and in-house accounts and reports of companies and entities owned or influenced by Government.

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