Gov’t agen­cies cor­rect breaches

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

AN EVAL­U­A­TION of the steps taken by gov­ern­ment agen­cies to cor­rect breaches high­lighted in au­dit re­ports re­leased by the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s De­part­ment (AGD) has found that the agen­cies have ei­ther im­ple­mented or are in the process of im­ple­ment­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions made.

The study, which was con­ducted by Jeanette Calder of the Ja­maica Civil So­ci­ety Coali­tion, ex­am­ined 41 au­dit re­ports over a six-year pe­riod.

Us­ing spe­cial per­for­mance and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy au­dit re­ports sub­mit­ted by the AGD be­tween 2010-2015, Calder re­quested in­for­ma­tion from the agen­cies au­dited to as­cer­tain if the rec­om­men­da­tions were im­ple­mented and if of­fi­cers re­spon­si­ble for breaches were held ac­count­able.

Although only 41 per cent of min­istries, agen­cies and de­part­ments from which in­for­ma­tion was re­quested re­sponded, the study found that they have been re­spon­sive to con­cerns.

“Of the nine in­sti­tu­tions that re­sponded to re­quests for in­for­ma­tion, the ma­jor­ity of the con­cerns were found to have been fully reme­died or were in the process of be­ing reme­died,” Calder said in the re­port de­tail­ing the find­ings of the study.

The re­port high­lighted the min­istries of health, ed­u­ca­tion, and labour and so­cial se­cu­rity as the en­ti­ties which, “stand out quan­ti­ta­tively and qual­i­ta­tively for the fre­quency, na­ture and level of breaches”.

Even while ac­knowl­edg­ing the for­mal fol­low-up mech­a­nism em­ployed by the au­di­tor gen­eral to en­sure rec­om­men­da­tions are im­ple­mented, the study called for this to be bol­stered.

FOL­LOW-UP MECH­A­NISM

“There is a for­mal fol­low-up mech­a­nism at the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s De­part­ment. How­ever, in light of the level of breaches, there is a need for ad­di­tional re­sources to en­sure re­spon­sive­ness to the rec­om­men­da­tions and the Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee. The Pub­lic Ac­count­abil­ity In­spec­torate could be tasked with this re­spon­si­bil­ity,” the re­port of the find­ings said.

Other mech­a­nism sug­gested by Calder in the re­port in­clude the en­act­ing of leg­is­la­tion which sep­a­rates the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the au­di­tor gen­eral from the Fi­nan­cial Ac­count­abil­ity Act, re­view of the Pub­lic Bod­ies Man­age­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Act and the es­tab­lish­ment of an on­line data­base that records the breach and the re­me­dial mea­sures taken by delin­quent en­ti­ties.

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