The Auditor General, Alastair Swarbrick, made public today a report on the management of the Nation Building Programme that operated from 2009 through early 2013. The report describes a catalogue of issues with the management of the programme and the $13.2 million spent by Government.
The Programme was operated out of the former Premier’s Office and was described by the Government as “…supporting schools, sporting, cultural and other voluntary organizations…scholarship grants to young persons and grants to churches…” The audit found that it was unclear what the Programme was designed to achieve and that many of the payments were not used for their intended purpose.
“The Nation Building Programme is an example of how not to manage or operate a government programme,” said Mr. Swarbrick. “Government officials needed to step up and fulfil their obligations to ensure that public money was spent prudently and properly accounted for. This did not happen and in this instance with every dollar spent, there was significant risk for misuse and abuse.”
The report describes how many of the students receiving support for attending schools were also receiving funding from another government department. The report also points out that some of the payments circumvented key legislative controls in place for the spending of public funds.
Noting the lack of clear guidelines for how government officials are to effectively deliver Government services and programmes, the Deputy Governor has committed to their development in the next year in responding to the report’s recommendations.
“While I am very concerned about what I found and reported to the Legislative Assembly about this Programme”, said the Auditor General, “I am pleased, on the other hand, to see that the Deputy Governor is committed to taking appropriate measures to ensure that future programmes are effectively managed and delivered.”
More information regarding this report can be obtained by contacting Martin Ruben at the Office of the Auditor General at (345) 244-3206. A copy of the report is available at www.auditorgeneral.gov.ky.