Kingston's mayor blames accounting errors for AGD's concerns


Kingston's mayor blames accounting errors for AGD's concerns

Observer writer

Friday, January 22, 2021

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Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams is downplaying the expenditure discrepancies at the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) which were flagged in a 2020 report from the Auditor General's Department (AGD) recently tabled in Parliament.

According to Williams, many of the discrepancies that the auditor general found in the KSAMC accounting records for roadwork maintenance through the Parochial Revenue Fund (PRF) were caused by accounting errors which resulted in numerous expenditures being coded and posted in the wrong categories.

Williams was responding to a query from People's National Party (PNP) Councillor Dennis Gordon (Maxfield Park Division) who argued that the AGD's report was “being withheld from the minority side”.

But Williams told the Jamaica Observer that the errors in the report are being corrected prior to being made available to PNP councillors.

According to Williams, the variances mentioned in the AGD's report were the result of incorrect coding and posting of numerous expenditures in the wrong categories.

“The variance is as a result of errors going back as far as 2014,” declared Williams.

He said the process has started to have this corrected and so far we have picked up nearly 40 per cent of the errors, which is consistent with the submissions of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) that they were coding mistakes.

“The CFO Department is diligently going through and compiling all the records to find any remaining entry errors. The process should take another 10 days. When that process is complete we will update the council,” added Williams, as he said that Gordon's questions will be adequately answered at the next sitting of the council.

“Questions asked in council are normally answered in council 30 to 90 days after [they are asked]. This gives the administration ample time to properly look into all questions and furnish the necessary documents and information,” argued Williams.

In its latest annual report the AGD said that the KSAMC could not explain the variances cited between its general ledger and subsidiary records, as it related to the PRF expenditures.

“Our analysis established that there were variances amounting to $389.6 million between accounting records regarding total spent,” the AGD said.

A portion of the funding for road maintenance by the KSAMC is obtained from the PRF, while a portion is from property tax collections.

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