“2.81 Monthly reports from the Barbados Turf Club should be submitted to the Accountant General’s Department to substantiate the payment of taxes arising from its betting activities. It was however observed that no monthly reports have been submitted, nor have payments been received on behalf of the Turf Club in relation to taxes due from betting, since May 2010. A reminder letter was forwarded to the Turf Club asking that this information be submitted on July 11, 2012. However no further follow up action has been taken.
The relevant information needs to be submitted to ensure that the correct amounts of revenue and receivables are recorded in this regard.”
A lack of financial discipline continues to afflict the public service as annually detailed in the Auditor General’s reports (AG), 2016 being no exception. To quote the AG:-
There are twenty-four (24) heads of ministries required to submit appropriation statements to the Auditor General’s Office as mandated by the Financial Management and Audit Act section 22. However, only nine (9) ministries submitted statements as at October 30, 2016.
Further, financial statements for almost all of the government agencies are not current. The AG had further reason to note that the Accountant General presented its financial statement for 2016 49 days after the statutory requirement of 4 months after government’s yearend of 31 March.
Of interest to BU is the story highlighted in the press on the weekend about the failure of the Barbados Turf Club (BTC) to pay 20% taxes. Surely an active citizenry should be naturally curious that there is something suspicious about a situation where, due to slipups and a slapdash approach by manager, millions of dollars in revenue to the treasury continue to be unpaid? You will recall that 19 million in taxes were waived by the David Thompson administration as one of his first acts on attaining the office of government.
Do the authorities need to place the lottery and gaming sector under national scrutiny anyhow given the millions of dollars collected and allegedly distributed to several bodies?
Who audits and controls how such funds are expended?
Where are the annual reports that account for the PROPER use of such low taxed funds?
Without proper accounting and audits it is easy for certain person (s) to channel money to personal or non authorized sources rather than to the parties that were declared.
Even with the ‘easy’ monies received from the BTC note how shabby the Garrison Savannah area remains. Include the other beneficiaries of the lottery, our sports facilities after years of millions of lottery dollars being channelled in that direction. Only the Barbados Cricket Association seems to putting the funds to some use although there is room for inquiry as well.
WHO is responsible for verifying that such funds are being properly utilised for the purposes intended?