Audit Chamber has trouble finding qualified auditors

POSTED: 11/23/11 6:47 AM

St. Maarten – Parliament will establish a government expenditures committee in January, chairlady Gracita Arrindell said yesterday afternoon at the end of a central committee meeting with the General Audit Chamber.
Chairman Roland Tuitt gave a presentation to the committee about the Audit Chamber’s functioning. Tuitt explained that he has trouble finding qualified auditors to join the organization. “If we cannot offer at least 10,000 guilders a month we will not be able to attract the auditors we need,” he said.
The Audit Chamber runs on a 2.5 million guilders budget. Half of this amount is funded by Usona, and so far, 900,000 guilders has been committed to 35 different projects. Tuitt said that the part of the budget funded by St. Maarten will not be used this year, giving the Finance Ministry “a windfall of 1.2 million guilders.”
The audit Chamber is ready to audit the 2010 budget, but it is still awaiting the annual accounts. ”According to the Soab the begin balance sheet of 2010 is materially incorrect, unreliable and inaccurate,” Tuitt said.
He told the central committee that executing the audit function properly depends on the proper provision of information. “These requirements are not widely understood, known and adhered to,” he said.
Later, Tuitt said in answer to questions from committee-members, that the Audit Chamber is supposed to receive copies from the ministries of all information that has financial consequences for St. Maarten. “Currently this is not happening, I don’t know why. The ministries have to send copies of this information to the Audit Chamber,” he said.
Tuitt explained that the Audit Chamber has the authority to request financial information from government departments at all times. “If it is not given, we have the authority to call in law enforcement.”
National Alliance faction-leader William Marlin reacted to a remark that the Audit Chamber will look into the housing policy. “Is that public housing, or the housing of the government itself?”
Tuitt explained that this audit focuses on the housing of government departments, but he evaded an answer to Marlin’s remark whether this also included an audit of the new government administration building, “known as the white elephant.”
Tuitt also said that loans contracted by the government are not only subject to approval by the financial supervisor Cft, but also to approval of the Audit Chamber.

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