The ForCayman Investment Alliance, the Public Service Pensions funds and social welfare payments are among the 27 areas in which government has an interest that Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick has proposed reviewing during his next three years in office.
However, Mr. Swarbrick – likely realising his office won’t get to all of them – wants input from the public of what areas Cayman Islands residents feel are most critical.
“I believe the public is in an excellent position to provide input into our plan,” he said.
Audit plans are just that; in 2011, Mr. Swarbrick’s office listed a dozen areas it wished to review and managed to get to about five of them after huge problems with government’s financial reporting and public bidding processes were uncovered. Audit plans can also change from time to time, depending on future events and requests for audit work by government officials.
Among the possibilities for review mentioned in the proposal:
Government revenues: The auditor general’s office has never reviewed these as part of its annual financial reporting duties to government, according to Mr. Swarbrick. The audit plan proposes to look at duty waivers and revenue collection estimates, among other areas.
Public Sector Pensions: The audit would consider whether current arrangements for funding of public sector retirement plans are sustainable in the long term.
Healthcare: Whether the current system, which does not require civil servants to pay into their healthcare premiums, is sustainable.
Social welfare: The review will look at whether social assistance payments were managed properly, accountably and transparently. A separate audit proposes to look at government scholarships.
Fraud: The auditor general wants to review what measures government agencies have in place to mitigate against fraud.
NGO services: Non-governmental organisations provide a number of public services in exchange for some government funding. The auditor will look at whether value-for-money is being achieved in those arrangements.
FCIA: The ForCayman Investment Alliance is a public-private partnership with the Dart group of companies. This review seeks to determine how the government managed it.
Legal Aid: A follow up on the 2010 audit of the system that provides free legal assistance to impoverished defendants.
The proposal also seeks governance reviews in a number of agencies including Cayman Airways, the Cayman Islands Development Bank, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority and the Port Authority.
Public comments on the audit plan are due by 31 August and may be emailed to [email protected] or writing to the office at PO Box 2583, Grand Cayman KY1-1103.