Financial control within Saba Cultural Foundation needs improvement

The auditors of the audit firm Ernst and Young have completed the quick scan of the Saba Cultural Foundation (SCF). The findings of the quick scan were presented to the Executive Council by the auditors this past week. The purpose of the quick scan, which was requested by the Executive Council, was to determine the reasons for the budget deficit of the SCF after the carnival celebrations of last year, which resulted in debts to creditors.

Among the issues highlighted in the report was that there was insufficient segregation of duties within the board and also statutorily required positions were vacant which is inconsistent with SCF articles of incorporation. The three main functions, president, secretary and treasurer, were during a certain period of time, all executed by one member of the SCF. There were also insufficient controls around the collection and registration of income. There were little or no bank transactions as almost all bills were paid in cash. The budget for the carnival 2014 was unsubstantiated with no documentation to evidence how the amounts in the budget were determined. All the above resulted in the actual expenses far exceeding the budgeted amount.

Based on the results of the quick scan it was recommended that Executive Council establish criteria to ensure that entities that receive subsidies from The Public Entity provide information to show that there are sufficient controls in place for the collection and registration of income and procedures to account for expenditures and monitor the budget. In addition, proof must be provided that positions on the board are current and there is segregation of duties as is required by the constitutional articles of the organization. Organizations should be able to provide a balanced budget with substantive documentation prior to receiving their subsidy.

The results of the quick scan and the recommendations have been sent to the Island Council.

Press release GIS Saba

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