Opinion: Financial Reporting System Complicity

December 23, 2014

[Opinion column written by David Tavares] Do we have a financial reporting system of complicity?

In my last opinion I stated that there should be a Royal Commission of Enquiry into the effectiveness of the Public Accounts Committee.

My continued position is still that the Auditor General’s office is a public office established by the Order in Council [Bermuda Constitutional Order] and is not producing the desired results because partisan politics has destroyed certain fundamental checks and safeguards vital to good government.

My understanding is that the Government leader [Premier] now has the means to call for a commission of enquiry! I guess the real question is will he do the right thing, if the Governor fails to act, and which commission of enquiry will come first; Land grab; illegal drug-crime and associated murders, or inability of Parliament, specifically the House of Assembly’s standing committee on public accounts to act expeditiously to reverse the trend of complicity in our financial reporting system?

The SAGE Commission, in its report, made ten recommendations on improving spending and government efficiency. However, in addition to these recommendations it is imperative that the existing financial reporting system and lack of positive outcomes be reviewed with the view of removing and placing the office and function of the Public Accounts Committee to an independent body similar to that of the Auditor General.

After all, why cut Government spending; improve efficiency; and still have a financial reporting system that is subject to the direction or control of partisan politics?

The lack of positive outcomes necessary to protect the Public Purse from blatant disregard to finance and accounting principles is about 25 years overdue. To simply continue with the same processes year over year with the added cost increases to produce the same result seems counterproductive and certainly no value for money.

Words like ‘I’m only a cog in the wheel” speaks volumes! To me the statement could imply knowledge of possible wrong doing! Oversight and direction by our elected officials require their commitment to integrity on their part and the attention and diligence of those who oversee the financial reporting system required to protect the interest and burden of the taxpayers!!

Greetings to all and have a safe Happy Holidays!

- David Tavares

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  1. aceboy says:

    I totally agree on the PAC matter.

    If the Auditor General finds a problem he/she should have the power to start a case. Pushing it off to a political body is simply asking for political interference.