Categorized | National News

GB Urban Renewal Audit Report Released

An audit into Grand Bahama’s Urban Renewal Office shines the light on glaring errors with the system.

In a 10-page report, Auditor General, Terrence Bastian found there were a number of instances where the payment amounts recorded on requisitions differed from the amount recorded on the batch register at GB’s Urban Renewal Department. 

The audit, conducted over the fiscal period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017, also found that there were 23 instances totaling $463,000 where supporting documents for small home repairs conducted on Grand Bahama did not include evidence of a bid from the contract awardee. 

In these instances, the supporting document from the awardee was an invoice.

Further, there were 18 instances whereby repairs valued $203,000 and the payment amounts recorded on the requisitions for family island contractual repairs could not be agreed with the supporting documents.

The supporting documents did not include a dollar value and the amount recorded on the supporting documents did not correspond with the amount paid per the requisition.

It was also revealed that 95 home repairs valued at over $1 million following the passage of hurricane Matthew.

The salaries of the department of Urban Renewal and contractual workers totaled $1,926,050 in 2016 and $1,971,050 in 2017. 

However, efforts to confirm total annual salaries paid to Urban Renewal employees by the Public Treasury were unsuccessful as the Treasury was unable to produce payroll records for August, 2015 through June 2017.

The results of the examination were deemed not satisfactory.

The auditor general then recommended that requisitions are supported by invoices for a clear audit trail, that receipts are scrutinized in a timely manner to ensure legibility, that payment amounts per the requisitions are in agreement with supporting documents for a clear audit trail, that a supervisor verifies the accuracy of check numbers to ensure that payments facilitated to the Treasury are accurate and that as the Public Treasury is ultimately responsible for salary payments, payroll details should be maintained by the treasury.

Grand Bahama’s Urban Renewal Department was headed by Michelle Reckley.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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