This paper provides a review of the last two Auditor General’s Reports of Belize, namely for the years 2010 and 2011; this was done with a view to evaluate the extent to which the issues identified for improvements have been resolved and what international guiding principles if any were used in the preparation of the reports. In order to determine this, a comparison of both reports had to be conducted to identify the most glaring issues in the first report and note if they were repeated in the subsequent period. It reviewed Issues involving compliance with financial regulations accountability and reliability matters emanating from the Auditor General’s Report and present approaches in ...view middle of the document...
Evaluate the extent to which the issues identified for improvements and or adjustments in the previous report were resolved.
The 2010 and 2011 Audit Reports were reviewed with a view to identify general audit issues that required improvement. It was observed that the Government of Belize has been unable to receive a comprehensive financial audit report attributable to accounting issues, lack of internal controls, ineffective procedures for preparing the financial statements and issues with tracking intra-governmental activities. In the 2009-2010 Auditor General Report, it highlighted the Accountant General’s tardiness in submitting the Government Financial Statements which contained various omissions and errors. The issues remain unchanged, as financial statements were submitted in October of the following year, which is in contravention of section 15 (tardiness) of the Finance and Audit Reform Act No. 12 of 2005. According to the report, the financial information from the Accountant General’s Department lacks reliability and useful.
The reports indicate that there were instances of non-compliance by ministries and departments with respect to Financial Order 89 which states that “Accounting Officers are to furnish the Accountant General and the Auditor General with returns of arrears of revenue at the end of December and June in each financial year”. Subsequent audits revealed that some ministries are still not complying with the regulations; rendering the government incapable of knowing the quantum and the contributing factors for such arrears.
As Belize move towards the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) it is not only important but highly recommended that it maintains updated accounting records. This however, is not being done as it has proven difficult to locate financial records in the various ministries and departments. At the time of reporting (2010-2011), there still remain outstanding the centralization of financial records by means of a financial records manager, as recommended in 2009.
Although most Ministries and Departments have moved towards computerizing their Accounts system, this was undertaken without consultation with the Audit Department as required by Financial Order # 658, which states, “ The Principal Auditor shall be consulted during the planning stage of any mechanized system.” Subsequent to that the information recorded is not pertinent and does not allow the necessary avenues for audit checks. The implementations of some systems proved inadequate for the recording and tracking of revenue.
Another area of concern was in regard to Stores ledgers not being properly maintained. Items received or issued were not accounted for in accordance with the Stores Orders # 5 (verifies balance and account for handing or taking in stores). In addition, adequate security measures are not in place to safeguard supplies. It appears that stores items are handled with little care, creating a loss to...