Guyana will this year begin using monies accrued from its oil wealth, raising questions whether the Audit Office of Guyana is capable of auditing the Natural Resources Fund in which the sums are kept.
Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Gail Teixeira answered these questions on Monday as the Office’s budgetary allocation was approved.
Under the Natural Resources Fund Act of 2021, the Audit Office of Guyana is set to conduct annual audits of the Fund to ensure accuracy and transparency in the use of the country’s oil revenue.
Responding to questions during the consideration of the $1.05B allocated to the agency on Monday, Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Gail Teixeira assured that
"the office is equipped to audit the deposits and withdrawals of the fund.''
She was at the time responding to questions from Opposition Parliamentarian David Patterson who is Shadow Natural Resources Minister.
With respect to any technical expertise that may be required, she noted that this will be determined during the planning and extraction of the audit.
Teixeira explained that at that time, the Auditor General can determine if an international firm is necessary to provide assistance.
Further, the Audit office has budgeted a significant sum to purchase 30 software licenses including one which helps in transforming to a paperless system.
Teixeira says she was advised by the Auditor General that ''13 licenses will be acquired.''
Other budgetary allocations for the audit office includes provisions for supplies, payment of staff and $8.8M for travelling to audit overseas missions.