Serious concerns have been raised over the fact that the State agency—Community Improvement Services Ltd (CISL) has no internal audit function.
Independent Senator/vice-chairman of the Joint Select Committee (JSC) David Small raised the concerns over the lack of an internal audit during the JSC’s (Group 2) meeting at the Parliament, Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain, yesterday.
“An internal audit would normally check and verify all the various financial transactions and submit all of this information to the audit committee. In your submission you indicated that you do not have an internal audit function and the committee gets comptroller reports.
“I am very concerned about that because the audit committee is supposed to be the level that reviews the comptroller reports. Who prepares them if there is no internal audit function? If the management prepares them then that is not functioning correctly. It is something that in my mind should be addressed by the line ministry because there is no way you should be managing any kind of money without an audit function,” Small pointed out.
He added that having the audit committee simply get information from the management is not how it is supposed to work.
“I have had a lot of experience in internal audit and this is the exact type of problem you have—management providing information to the board directly without an internal audit.
“I think that is something that needs to be addressed. I heard what you said in your submissions but I don’t agree. The appropriate thing is to have an internal audit function. I have noted this and I want to flag my genuine concern with this issue bearing in mind the volume of projects that are going through the company,” he said.
CISL’s CEO Raees Patel said the company completed 266 projects from 2012 to 2014 and had done approximately 15 per year on average before 2012.
Asked about the current total owed to contractors Patel said, “It is $9,164,321.64 under the Ministry of Local Government; under the Ministry of the People and Social Development—$1,368,411.31, and Ministry of Diversity and Social Integration—$653,637.” —Camille Bethel