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Auditor-General attacks financial controls

Scathing report: Auditor-General Heather Jacobs Matthews

The Bermuda Government’s financial statements have received a qualified auditor’s opinion for the fifth consecutive year.

Auditor-General Heather Jacobs Matthews yesterday released reports documenting the results of audits of the Consolidated Fund for the years ending March 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

She pointed to serious deficiencies in internal control over the management of various capital development projects.

Ms Matthews said the deficiencies led her to question the appropriateness of certain transactions and the underlying value of assets.

The Auditor-General also cites the continued failure to provide summary financial statements that disclose the full nature and extent of the overall financial affairs and resources of the Government, the increased net debt, and incidences of non-compliance with Financial Instructions.

Concerns include inappropriate procedures and inadequate accounting for transactions, millions paid without signed contracts or agreements, significant contracts not tendered, inadequate procedures over bank reconciliations, millions paid for professional services without prior approval, and IT deficiencies.

The report also noted issues surrounding the financial reporting process, which still requires numerous adjustments to be made before audited financial statements can be issued.

The full report is available online at www.oagbermuda.bm