Education Minister Myron Walwyn wants any government project that exceeds quarter million dollars to be audited.
He said such a policy is a way of ensuring good governance and ensuring that the processes governing these projects continuously improve.
“I believe that every project over $250,000 should be audited whether you hear malicious rumours [about those projects] or not,” the minister noted
While speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Walwyn further said he believed audits ought not to be punitive in nature but rather to promote openness.
The minister, however, said the Office of the Auditor General – which is responsible for auditing and reporting on government operations – need to be better monitored in the process.
“Government is about checks and balances and somebody has to guard the guards and the auditor general office can’t just write anything they want and then it goes out to the House of Assembly and it becomes a public document and smear people’s character and nobody can come back and say ‘you probably didn’t do a good enough job’. Those are concerns that I certainly have,” Walwyn said.
He made that assertion while suggesting that the ‘special report’ the auditor general drafted on the controversial wall around Elmore Stoutt High was not balanced.
He effectively said the report could mislead the public into believing that the education ministry did not follow the required guidelines when contracting persons to construct the wall.
The construction of the 1,562-foot wall had a cost overrun of a little more than $157,000. The final cost of the project was $985,690.86.
He said employing the petty contract system as one of the means to construct the wall was a major contributor to the cost overrun.