GAC ‘Chose the Sensational over Objectivity’

first_imgThe Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has sharply reacted to the recent audit report from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the Ministry.MFDP said the Commission “chose the path to the style of the sensational rather than an objective and professional reporting.” According to the Ministry, this way of doing things has now become the standard practice of the GAC.GAC in its audit reported by some media outlets, accused the MFDP Minister Amara Konneh and his Comptroller and Accountant General of not providing supporting documentations for some transactions. “We noted during the audit that out of the total selected sample of US$4,123 payment transactions, the Comptroller and Accountant General did not provide supporting documents for US$3,419 payment transactions for various components in the financial statements amounting to US$209,790,651.04,” GAC report said.The GAC audit report, which contains this statement, is the Special Procurement Audit Report of the Ministry of Public Works and the Audit Report of the Consolidated Financial Statement of the government for the Fiscal Year 2012/13. The Ministry said while it views the GAC reports as being “critical to our collective determination to improve the public financial management system of the government, our attention has been drawn to a number of conclusions derived from the report and reported on by the media to the effect that public resources have either been unaccounted for or abused. These very disturbing insinuations could and should have been prevented had the Commission acted reasonably in incorporating some of the pertinent clarifications provided by the MFDP.”However, MFDP said it remained committed to implementing the recommendations of the audit exercise and has, as a matter of policy, begun instituting some of the recommendations as contained in the Auditor General’s report. The Ministry also charged that for the GAC’s audits to be seen as credible, “the basis for institutional improvements, handling of the audit process has to be treated with the outmost degree of professionalism, mutual respect and good faith for system improvement.” “In this respect, the MFDP wishes to register for the record, a number of issues raised in the audit report that are not only questionable and in some instances laughable, but creates a misleading impression that either public resources have been squandered or the public trust compromised.”Included in its response, the Ministry listed four areas, including audit integrity, material issues with Public Works Audit, material issues with audit report of the Consolidated Financial Statement and ancillary issues, which it said need clarification because of some of the confusing conclusions stemming from the Auditor General’s report. The Ministry’s press release is published in detail on pages eight and nine of today’s edition.One internal auditor, a public financial analyst, who asked to remain anonymous, rhetorically asked when contacted for his opinion on the audit, “Why should everyone have problems with the GAC audit reports? It needs to look at the ways, methods and procedures of its material gathering.” He, however, noted that it is also a human tendency to “cry wolf.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Argentine football passion, a criminal’s poisoned chalice

first_imgOver the last two years, police have laid their hands on 424 criminals that had gone to watch a football match.The Secure Stand operation that saw police check the identity of 7.5 million fans in almost 800 operations across 60 stadiums in Argentina has resulted in thieves, rapists and violent criminals finding themselves behind bars.On top of that, another 1,507 known thugs were denied entry to their game of choice.That’s what the operation was originally set up for: to prevent hooligans from entering stadiums, as Argentine football suffered in the grip of growing fan violence.– ‘Can’t change passion’ –In the Oscar-winning 2010 film, “The Secret in Their Eyes,” an Argentine football fan says: “A guy can change anything. His face, his home, his family, his girlfriend, his religion, his God.“But there’s one thing he can’t change: He can’t change his passion.”That passion has caught up with numerous criminals in the country. Still, that is barely a drop in the ocean, given Argentina has 50,000 fugitives.It’s not just violent crime in the authorities’ sights, though, as a woman scammer found out when she turned up with her two sons to watch her beloved Talleres de Cordoba play.She was detained and her husband called to collect the children so she could be formally arrested.Football-related violence had become so bad that away supporters were barred from traveling to games last year, a measure that has started to be rolled back as a result of the successful Secure Stand operation.“We’ve had an interesting curve since implementing the Secure Stand program,” the government’s director of sporting security, Guillermo Madero told AFP.“The number of fugitives is the same and those getting access to the stadium is declining. That means the hooligans have stopped going (to games).”In September 2017, a man wanted for sexual abuse and aggravated theft, who had been on the run for 11 days, was apprehended trying to get into the ground to watch Racing play San Martin de San Juan.Juan Matias, a vice president at Newell’s Old Boys, the team Messi supports, had been wanted for drug smuggling. In June, he was caught trying to get into a Union game in Santa Fe.– Fruitful derbies –Some of those prevented from entering stadiums were vetoed over incidents that took place during the World Cup in Russia.Derby matches have proved the most fruitful for police as fans — criminals included — simply can’t resist the urge to be at their side’s biggest games.Last November, at a clash between local Buenos Aires rivals San Lorenzo and Huracan, police fingered Silvio Alejandro Rodriguez, who had been sought over sexual assault and corruption of minors.The most unforgettable arrest, though, was in February during the River-Estudiantes derby, also in Buenos Aires.Nicolas Bordon was wanted for aggravated homicide, drug trafficking, illicit association and resisting authority.One of his victims was a police officer, much to the “dismay” of those “that participated in his arrest,” according to Madero.Given the number of police officers operating around football grounds, it would seem a risk hardly worth taking for a wanted criminal.But psychologist Betina Payaslian says they simply can’t help themselves.“They think they’re doing nothing but trying to avoid the trap, but all they end up doing is searching for it along their path,” she said.“That’s the neurosis trap and it’s a snag. What perplexes them is not understanding how they ended up there in a place that feels cruelly familiar.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Boca Juniors’ forward Carlos Tevez (R) strikes the ball past Velez Sarsfield’s defender Joaquin Laso during their Argentina First Division Superliga football match in Buenos Aires on September 2, 2018 © AFP / Alejandro PAGNIBUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Sep 5 – Argentines are well known the world over for their passion for football. What’s not such common knowledge is how that very fervor is helping police catch criminals.In Argentina, the country that gave the world footballing geniuses of the likes of Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, it seems that fugitives from justice can remain hidden only as long as there isn’t a match on.last_img read more