The Cayman Islands Auditor General’s Office slightly increased the annual salaries for three of its senior managers and spent about $316,000 on consultants during the last budget year, according to financial records released in the Legislative Assembly.
The salaries for senior managers in the audit office and the details of the consultant contracts were released in an annual report for the audit office. So far, no other government entities which have released annual reports have included such specific details.
Former Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick often stressed the importance of detailing such information in annual reports, as well as releasing the financial statements for a government entity. Most government departments are now completing financial statements each year, but are not including any discussion of the statements in an annual report form.
The audit office’s annual report for the 2014/15 budget year – last year – put Mr. Swarbrick’s annual salary at between $125,000 and $130,000.
The three senior managers, Deputy Auditor General Garnet Harrison, and two audit principals, Martin Ruben and Patrick Smith, earned between $105,000 and $115,000 per year.
Of the $316,000 spent on consultants, most went to hire outside firms to complete performance audits. However, some $120,000 was for a review of the office’s information technology systems, including some IT security improvements.
“The cost of the performance auditors includes payments made directly to the performance auditors and their costs [including work permit fees, rental cars, hotels, airfares and the like],” the audit office noted. “We engage consultants to carry out performance audit work as our staff complement is not sufficient to carry out this work internally.”
Auditors flagged up this situation as an ongoing concern for the office, which noted that it needed to “build capacity” in order to continue conducting performance audits on the government.
The auditor general’s office staff at year’s end had 18 members, though it had been budgeted for 19 employees.
In previous years the staff number had been as high as 21. One audit project leader position was not filled by the close of 2014/15.
Mr. Swarbrick left the office in October 2015, after the date of the report.
New Auditor General Sue Winspear is expected to take over the office in July at the start of the new government budget year.