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Strengthen the Office

of the Auditor General

of Belize to guarantee the control of Government

funds and State assets.

The best guarantee for the proper management and effective investment of Government resources relies on strengthening the Office of the Auditor General and its ability to monitor Government spending. For this to happen, Office of the Auditor General  must have full independence and autonomy and it must be able to make its reports public. Audit results are essential to the National Assembly and its ability to hold the Government accountable for the use of funds destined to meet the needs of Belizeans. This would also facilitate citizen oversight of Government spending and management.

Following are some opinions on this option:

Sharon, from Dangriga: Strengthening the Office of the Auditor General would guarantee transparency in the management of public funds and State assets. An independent and objective audit would make it possible to identify and prevent corruption, misappropriation of funds and inadequate financial practices.

 

Amaité, from Dangriga: Effective control of public funds would increase the level of citizen confidence in their Government. When citizens realize that public resources are managed in a responsible and transparent manner, we will be more willing to support and actively participate in public affairs.

 

Kimberly, from Orange Walk: If public control is strengthened, the Belize Audit Office could better assess the degree of efficiency in public resources investment and identify inadequacies in the provision of services. This would ensure that public funds are better used to provide quality services to those who need it the most.

 

Carlos, from San Ignacio: If we have access to audit reports and their recommendations to improve Government management, citizens could monitor corrective measures taken by the Government to improve social programs on a timely manner.

Despite agreeing with this alternative, some have expressed difficulties in carrying it out:

 

Henry, from San Ignacio: I think this is a good alternative, but as far as I know, the Audit Office has its hands tied because it has no jurisdiction over its own budget and if the Government does not allocate the resources to allow them to carry out their job, then they are not going to be able to do much.

 

Irma, from Belmopan: They cannot name their own staff either because they are under civil service regulations. I believe that if we want this alternative to work, a deep reform must take place to allows this office to act independently and be on par with other control entities in the world.

 

Ana, from Belize City: I know that the auditor's report can only be known by citizens when the National Assembly approves its publication. This reduces the independence of this office and limits the ability of citizens to get access this report on time… can you imagine if the National Assembly decides to indefinitely delay the publication of an audit report?

 

Miguel, from Dangriga: A profound reform of public control is important. However, if a reform is encouraged there will be political interference and pressure to limit the scope of the changes because nobody likes, especially Government officials, to be controlled when it comes to investing money.

 

Francis, from Dangriga: Even if a reform to strengthen the Belize Audit Office is approved, including better public control, there will be pressure against it. Also, excessive control could lead Government officials to become overly cautious in making decisions, preventing social programs from reaching those in need on time.

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