The Auditor's General's Report - Urgent Action Required by Government

July 15, 2022

The underlying theme in the Auditor General’s Report – 2021 appears to be a lack of good governance. This is of serious concern as a lack of good governance can derail any attempt that Barbados has towards sustainable development. If this goes unaddressed, Barbados will continue to need the intervention of external agencies and may never fully be able to reduce unemployment or have its social programs and policies achieve their intended objectives.

By way of background, under the Public Finance Management Act 2019-1 (the Act), one of the roles of the Barbados Audit Office is to conduct an audit of Government’s financial statements. This office is headed by the Auditor General. The Act states clearly the criteria for reporting including such rules as dates for financials to be presented and standards to be followed. Yet, according to the Auditor General, he received accounts late and some agencies did not follow the applicable reporting standards. Notably, the Auditor General stated that “These financial statements would therefore be misleading to a user.”.

The Auditor General is to be commended for bringing these matters to the fore and this work will be of no benefit to the people of Barbados unless swift action is taken by Government to implement the recommendations contained in the report. While other agencies have publicly commented on the report, there has been a notable silence on the part of Government in responding to any of the many issues raised to date.

One of the hallmarks of good governance is the ability to make informed decisions based on the availability of timely and accurate information. This requires adequate and effective internal processes and controls to be in place. The implementation of basic controls in a deliberate and consistent manner would be a good first step to create good governance.

Government has a responsibility to the people of Barbados to be able to demonstrate that it safeguards the assets to which it has been entrusted and that it operates transparently. Best Practices dictate the existence of adequate supporting documentation and a clear audit trail surrounding transactions.

With additional pressures being put on Government to provide support to the most vulnerable in the wake of COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukraine war, it is vital that Government manages its finances in the most prudent manner to always create sustainable development. We believe that Government needs to have a detailed collaborative review with the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to address the issues raised in the report. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) commends Government on the recent appointment of Mr. Oliver Jordan as the Special Advisor for the Reform and Restructuring of State-Owned Enterprises. It is hoped that positive change will result from this including bringing the many long outstanding audits up to date.

ICAB hopes that Government will quickly take further actions to resolve the various issues raised in the Auditor General’s Report, in particular those that have been raised in successive reports. In this regard, ICAB continues to stand ready to be of assistance to the Government in whichever way necessary and to put into practice the slogan of the 2004 Barbados National Sustainability Development Policy “Doing the right things by doing things right



New Council 2022 2023 of ICAB

June 10, 2022

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (“ICAB” or “the Institute”) held its 48th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday June 9, 2022. The AGM was held using an electronic platform with online voting.

ICAB is pleased to announce that at a meeting of the Council held after the AGM, Ms. Darshani Workman was re-elected President for 2022-2023.

Ms. Workman who is Finance Manager of Deloitte and Touche Barbados, is a Fellow of ICAB and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). She was appointed to Council for the first time in 2017, and is currently a member of the Legislation Committee. Ms. Workman has also been a volunteer with Optimist International since 2009 and has served on its Audit and Finance Committee in 2018-2020.

Upon her re-appointment Ms. Workman expressed her thanks to her fellow Council Members for their support and congratulated the newly elected Council members of Council and the members of the Executive Committee. During her tenure as President, Ms. Workman will focus on setting out the strategic plan for the next 3 years focusing on financial sustainability, member engagement, policy advocacy, communications, regulation in the public interest, continuing professional development, and information management and security.

Ms. Workman also plans to have the Institute explore ways to foster financial literacy within the public as any improvement in financial literacy will have a positive and profound impact on people and their ability to provide for their future.

At the meeting of Council, Ms. Tracy Marshall was elected as Vice-President, Mr. Damien Skeete as Secretary, and Mr. Sirpaul Jaikaran as Treasurer. Former President Ms. Lydia McCollin is the Immediate Past President. Ms. Marshall is an Assurance Partner at EY Barbados, Mr. Skeete is an Audit Partner at Skeete, Best & Co., Mr. Jaikaran is an Assurance Partner at PwC East Caribbean, and Ms. McCollin is Managing Director and Lead Consultant of LRM Consulting Services Inc.

ICAB is led by a 15-member Council whose other members are Shirlyne Alexander, Lisa A.C. Alleyne, Ricaido Jennings, Christina John, Fiona Jones, Marilyn Husbands, Roger Kirton, Khalil Patel, Wendell Scantlebury, and Wendy Sealy. ICAB’s programmes are run by a 5-member Secretariat, led by its Executive Director, Kathy-Ann Hewitt.

ICAB is the professional membership organisation representing approximately 1,080 Chartered Accountants in Barbados along with approximately 800 students pursuing professional accounting qualifications. ICAB is the regulator and standard setter for accounting and auditing in Barbados. It is a body corporate created by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (Incorporation) Act 1974 (Cap 369A) on November 1, 2974. ICAB is committed to global best practices and to continuously enhancing the reputation of the profession and the reputation of Barbados through effective leadership in key areas including regulation, advocacy, member services, and active engagement in matters of national interest.