Thursday, May 18, 2017
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
A governance reform campaigner yesterday lauded the Minnis administration’s planned forensic audits of several government entities as as a “good move”, stressing: “You need to get your house in order.”
Robert Myers, a principal with the Organisation for Responsible Governance (ORG), told Tribune Business: “I think it’s a good move. I think they have to root out the trouble spots. I think it’s smart, but I think they still need to enact the Freedom of Information Act. They need to look at where the leakages are. There’s still a lot to do but it’s good that they seem to be starting strong.”
The Government announced on Tuesday that forensic audits will be conducted on the Urban Renewal Department, Bank of the Bahamas and the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI).
In a statement released by Bahamas Information Services (BIS), the Government said there will also be forensic audits on other departments and programmes, adding that Cabinet decided that all ministers will conduct audits within their respective ministries (including departments and agencies funded by the public purse) of people hired on contract, their job titles/positions, salaries and periods of contract.
Mr Myers told Tribune Business: “I don’t think that the Government needs to tax businesses more. I think they need to reduce the number of taxes and increase the speed in the ease of doing business and the speed of doing business.
“When you continue to heavily tax people you are only going to put a drag on GDP. What needs to happen is the Government must go back and figure out where its own inefficiencies and leakages are, and create accountability. They have to look at where money is being wasted.
“They need to also go back and create efficiencies within the existing tax structure. You don’t need to tax any more - you need to get your house in order, internally and externally. Collect the taxes that are due and create some accountability within government.”