This island???s Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, wants to see an improvement in the auditing principles and practices of statutory boards and some of those private companies of which Government is the sole shareholder.

Mr. Sinckler made the comments last evening at the Barbados Audit Office???s 160th Anniversary Awards Ceremony at Hilton Barbados Resort.

He said: ???Indeed, I believe the time has come that it should be made mandatory, if not law certainly by practice, that all statutory corporations should be mandated to have audit committees ??? and ensure that ??? persons with the requisite skills in accounting and auditing should at least be given a seat on the board of directors.

???As we move through the process of reform of our State enterprises in building efficiencies and effectiveness in the use of public resources, it is absolutely critical that we have agencies that are not only able to converse in the language of accountancy and auditing, but can meet their fiduciary and legal responsibilities to deliver audited financial statements to the Parliament of Barbados as prescribed by law.???

Mr. Sinckler charged that too many entities fell behind in keeping up with their responsibility to deliver audited financial statements and contended that was not good enough.

He said, however, that the project Government was implementing, in its pilot phase, with the Regional Technical Body of the International Monetary Fund through his Ministry, should greatly assist those entities to meet their legal and governance responsibilities as agreed to in law.

He told his audience that Government would continue to pay close attention to the issues and recommendations emanating from the Barbados Audit Office. ???I can assure you that the Government is acting on many of those matters that have been raised by the Office, and will continue to source consultancies and technical advice where necessary to ensure that we can improve on the performance of these offices,??? he added.

The Minister pointed out that every year there was much public discourse and debate on issues highlighted in the annual report of the Auditor General and stressed that such was healthy for the country???s democracy.

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