The Cayman Islands government has implemented just 22 percent of the recommendations made by its auditors for improving financial reporting and management processes in various public sector entities over the past five years.
The Internal Audit Unit tracked 310 recommendations made between 2009 and last year involving 40 government entities and found 209 of them (67 percent) remained “outstanding.” Another 27 recommendations (9 percent) made more than five years ago were considered too dated to act on before a reassessment of the problem could be completed.
A total of 67 audit recommendations (22 percent) were acted on and substantially implemented, auditors found.
“Our conclusion is government entities have not demonstrated reasonable progress in implementing the agreed actions necessary,” the Internal Audit Unit’s review stated.
A similar review in 2014 noted that government had followed through with 24 percent of the audit units recommendation.
A review at the halfway point of the current budget year, December 2015, found even fewer audit recommendations – about 15 percent – had been followed by agencies. The full year report has not been completed since the budget year has not ended.
The reasons given for lack of implementation of audit recommendations, all of which had been agreed to by the government agency undergoing the audit, boiled down to either human resources difficulties or public agencies failing to cooperate with each other.
“There is a lack of adequate staff/capabilities to perform the actions needed to implement the recommendations,” government officials noted in their various responses provided to the audit unit. “Financial resources are needed in order to implement the recommendations.
The report also referenced trouble where certain government agencies must work together to resolve the issues auditors identified.
The Internal Audit Unit report identified the government departments that most often ignored or failed to follow auditors’ recommendations, including:
The Tourism Attraction Board: 26 audit recommendations were made, none was implemented.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (administration): 23 recommendations were made, none implemented.
The Health Services Authority: 12 recommendations were made, none implemented.
The Immigration Department: 11 recommendations were made, none implemented.
Cayman Airways: 35 recommendations were made, four were implemented.
The Department of Agriculture: 24 recommendations were made, three were implemented.