UPDATED: March 14, 2013
The Nation is reporting Auditor General Leigh Trotman just advised Parliament that ““There was no supporting documentation for accounts receivable of $600 million. There were also inadequate supporting schedules in respect of capital assets of $1.8 billion,”
BFP reminds everyone that it doesn’t matter what our Auditor General says because nobody gets charged or fired anyway – no matter how clear the evidence is against them. Here’s a little news story from 2011 where some Bajan diplomats stole money and transferred it to personal bank accounts in Miami. What happened to these crooked diplomats?
Nothing. That’s what!
“But just let the little man take $20 in groceries and see what happens…”
It’s called theft and international money laundering…
Our congratulations to Auditor General Leigh Trotman and his staff for uncovering a nasty little scheme by Bajan diplomats stationed in Venezuela.
Two crooks at the embassy falsely said that monies were being used for embassy business when the only thing going on was monkey business. The funds ended up in Miami through a magical process that is not altogether unknown to Bajan diplomatic elites.
After getting caught by the Auditor General last May, the diplomats returned the money. Parliament was notified yesterday when the Auditor General’s 2010 report was presented.
A Good Sign that this was reported in the news media
In the old days we would never have heard about this situation, so in one way we’re making progress, however…
Same old, same old as the elites refuse to charge two of their little clique with the theft. Can’t have one of ours behind bars, you know!
But just let the little man take $20 in groceries and see what happens.
Some things never change. One set of rules for us, and another set of rules for them.
Here’s the story from Barbados Today. Please attend at their website to read the story – it’s only fair – even though we’ll reprint the entire thing here because you never know when Bajan news media will change history…
Audit of barbados’ embassy in venezuela uncovers ‘serious’ misuse of funds
A special audit of Barbados’ Embassy in Venezuela has uncovered several “serious” operational breaches involving the misappropriation of state funds.
And in the wake of the discovery of the misuse of more than $174,000, including the transfer of the majority of that amount by an officer into a personal bank account in Miami, Auditor General Leigh Trotman is urging Government to take disciplinary action against “a senior official” posted there, seek recovery of misused funds, and improve its internal controls governing the use of foreign currency, among other measures.
The infractions, which were discovered after Barbadian auditors journeyed to Venezuela and reviewed the embassy’s accounting system between May 10 and 14 last year, were disclosed in the Auditor General’s 2010 report laid in the House of Assembly yesterday.
They involved the misuse of US $69,213 in foreign currency by two officers of the embassy, who applied to and received these funds from the Venezuelan State Agency by wrongly stating the money would be used to represent Barbados on official business overseas.
Worse than that, the money was deposited into personal bank accounts in Miami. While acknowledging that the US$69,213 misappropriated was “subsequently refunded in Venezuelan currency”, Trotman said this “does not negate the serious nature of this offence”.
“These transactions did not relate to any official Government business and represent a misuse of an official position to further private interests,” the official stated.
“Then deception used in applying for funds when not scheduled to travel could have brought the good image of Barbados into disrepute and should be treated in a serious manner,” he advised.
Trotman said the infringements were so serious that under the Public Service Act they “could result in the dismissal of the offending person”.
Other reported breaches involved refunds for personal expenses totalling more than $20,000 without the permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the “inappropriate” use of courier services to purchase computers and printers from the United States costing the embassy more than $5,000.
Additionally, the Auditor General said it was discovered that a lease to secure a house as the official residence of the Barbados Ambassador to Venezuela had been signed without the permission of authorities in Bridgetown, there was no “formal contract” between the Embassy and its landlord for the rental of the diplomatic office, and that there were some staff members working for Barbados there who did not have “the necessary security clearance” from Venezuelan authorities.
“The mission’s finances were not properly managed during the two year period reviewed. Furthermore, a senior official committed serious breaches of Financial Instructions (Overseas Missions). These breaches resulted in misappropriation of Government funds,” the Auditor General said.
“In keeping with the code of discipline outlined in the Public Service Act 2007-41 appropriate disciplinary proceedings should be instituted.”
The special audit was ordered by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who, in discussion with the Audit Office voiced concern “over the financial management practices at the Embassy involving the use of the mission’s bank account”.
“There was concern that the Mission’s funds were used to purchase foreign currency reportedly for overseas travel on official duties even though no travel was undertaken. Concern was also expressed over reports of verbal instructions to a member of the accounts staff to alter the accounting records in a manner that would conceal the foreign currency transactions,” Trotman revealed.
Fears of irregularities were confirmed when the embassy’s books were examined.
The most serious of these related to the misuse of Government funds, specifically the purchase of foreign currency. Trotman said action needed to be taken “in order to prevent a recurrence of this situation”.
He therefore recommended that “written instructions should be issued to the Barbados Embassy in Venezuela specifying the circumstances in which applications for foreign currency would be allowed”. (SC)