NA MP Pantophlet seeks clarity on internal control department

POSTED: 03/19/15 6:39 PM

St. Maarten – Member of Parliament George Pantophlet disclosed yesterday that he will be submitting some questions to Minister of Finance Martin Hassink regarding the setting up of an internal control department. Pantophlet also plans to request a copy of an agreement signed between the SOAB and government. “This agreement apparently has in it that the SOAB would set up the internal control department within 2 years, write the internal control process and also train the employees. In addition to that a director for the department would be recruited,” Pantophlet said yesterday.

He added that he is looking forward to these questions being answered in writing because he needs clarity on this matter “since claims have consistently been made by former Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt that during his tenure this was done.” Another point of contention to Pantophlet is information received during a parliamentary session regarding the financial statement of 2011 that two controllers had left. “One from the Department of Education and the other from the Department of Vromi. What was interesting is that the controller from Vromi was transferred to concern controller. The questions on this matter the minister will have to answer are; who authorized the transfer and who is then authorized to approve the financial transactions for these two ministries now that they don’t have controllers and why did the controller of education leave? I guess the same methods will be used in finding the two ministers that are still needed for Vromi and Health,” Pantophlet said while pointing out that having proper financial control is vital for governments operation.

The NA MP pointed out that the General Auditing Chamber in its report stated there was inadequate internal control procedures noted at all ministries, and that as a result the annual financial statements include numerous errors and uncertainties. “The report amplifies the need for having a proper internal control department in place,” Pantophlet concluded.

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