Turtle Farm auditor sought

Following the abrupt departure of
its former audit firm, the Cayman Turtle Farm/Boatswain’s Beach facility is
seeking new number crunchers to bring it into compliance with government’s financial
requirements.

A tender is expected to go out this
week seeking an audit firm to finish reviewing financial statements for the
debt-ridden tourist facility’s 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 (current) budget
years.

“This is strictly a financial
statements audit, so the Turtle Farm can catch up,” said Acting Auditor General
Garnet Harrison.

Entities

The Turtle Farm is one of dozens of
Cayman Islands government entities and statutory authorities that has failed to
complete legally required financial statements and submit them for review to
the auditor general’s office each year.

The accounting firm
PriceWaterhouseCoopers finished the facility’s 2006 financial statements but
told government that it would not complete the 2007 audits.

Mr. Harrison said there had been
changes to Turtle Farm management and its board of directors in recent months,
but he didn’t know why PWC had declined to perform the 2007 audits.

The Caymanian Compass reported in
May that six months of financial data had gone missing from computers at the
Turtle Farm/Boatswain’s Beach facility. That data pertained to the 2007
financial year.

Public Accounts Committee Chairman
Ezzard Miller has set a strict deadline of 30 September for the completion of
all outstanding financial audits from past years and a deadline of 31 October
for the completion of the 2010 fiscal year audits.

Resources

Mr. Harrison said his own staff
simply doesn’t have the resources to finish auditing the Turtle
Farm/Boatswain’s Beach accounts by itself and had to seek an outside firm to
finish the job.

He said the financial statement
audits had nothing to do with another audit that has been under way at the
Turtle Farm for nearly two years. That audit, begun by former Auditor General
Dan Duguay, was to look into money spent for the Boatswain’s Beach expansion
and whether the government got good value for its money.

Mr. Harrison said that audit has
been “stalled out,” and that his staff is waiting for the arrival of new Cayman
Islands Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick in July for instructions on how to
proceed on that report.

“We’ve tended to have other
priorities that have come up,” Mr. Harrison said. 

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