AG 2015 Report– AG bemoans non-implementation of prior recommendationsBreach of financial regulations, overpayments to contractors, late or non delivery of equipment and other supplies continue to plague the Ministry of the Presidency, were among some of the pertinent findings of Auditor General Deodat Sharma, during his examination of the Public Accounts of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government’s first year in office.Auditor GeneralDeodat SharmaAmong some of the findings in Sharma’s Report, laid in the National Assembly last Thursday by House Speaker Dr Barton Scotland, is a $155 million allotment or the procurement of office equipment, of which $144.8 million was expended, including $19.108 million which was paid to an overseas supplier in December 2015 for the supply and installation of CCTV systems at the National Intelligence Centre.However as of September 2016, the items were still not delivered.Meanwhile, the remaining $125.8 million was used to procure security systems, computers and laptops, office furniture, air conditioning units and office equipment for the ministry.According to the audit report, a physical verification was carried out to determine the receipt, marking and location of the items purchased and items totalling $14.905 million could not be located.In face of this, Sharma recommended that the ministry implement measures that will ensure strict compliance with stores regulations.OverpaymentsMeanwhile, the report shows that the Ministry sole sourced a contractor to construct a perimeter fence and security lights at Building E Castellani Compound at a cost of $12 million. It said that at as December 2015, some $11.679 million was paid to the contractor, but based on a physical measurement taken on site and calculations; there was a $2.3 million overpayment.The Auditor General has urged the Ministry take immediate actions to recover the overpayment and ensure that construction works are done in keeping with specifications.Under the department of Public Service, it was revealed that the department’s records show that it expended $772.1 million on training, including $271 million for payment of tuition, airfare, accommodation, stipend, allowances, etc, for students studying overseas.“Audit examination of the Register of Students revealed that pertinent information, such as benefits and allowances payable to the students, were not recorded. In addition, it was also observed that all the institutions to which the Ministry pays tuition fees were not recorded in the register. In the circumstance, reliance could not be placed on the accuracy of the information in the Register,” the report stated.The Auditor General also stated that at the time of the audit, matters involving a $120.7 million expenditure for payments of Financial Assistance for Public Service Performance Evaluation in the ten Administrative Regions were attracting attention of the Courts; whilst, the Audit Office was also conducting an investigation into a $18.9 million payment for financial assistance for students studying in Cuba.Misuse of Lotto fundsThe Auditor General also revealed that the Ministry utilised millions of dollars in revenues garnered from the Lotto Fund for the construction of the controversial D’Urban Park, Georgetown, without Parliamentary approval.Government earns 24 per cent of the proceeds from the Guyana Lottery Company, but this money is paid into an account controlled by the Ministry of the Presidency and spent with the approval of Cabinet.The AG said that at the end of 2015, the deposits to the account amounted to some $1.8 billion. However, the Government transferred $1 billion of that money to the Consolidated Fund, while the Ministry of the Presidency held onto more than half a billion dollars, of which it spent some $305 million on various activities including $36.5 million on the rehabilitation of D’Urban Park; $63.7 million on Mashramani celebrations and another $51 million was utilised for ‘music’.Other activities funded by the Ministry of the Presidency using the Lotto proceeds are related to Emancipation, Amerindian Heritage and Carifesta, among other celebrations.Many of the issues highlighted in Sharma’s report are not new and recommendations were made in the past to address these, however, it seems that very little action has been taken in this regard.“The Audit Office continues to view the lack of action towards the implementation of prior recommendations with serious concerns and suggest stringent action be taken to address these findings, especially those related to overpayments on construction works, lack of weak internal controls, including poor record keeping and breaches of relevant Legislation,” he stated in his summary of recommendations. read more
Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo from asianvolleyball.netBIÑAN, Laguna—–When the Philippines and Vietnam, which are miles away from each other in the FIVB standings, it was the smallest Filipino on the court who made one of the biggest impacts.Dawn Macandili, a reserve player for the Philippines’ Southeast Asian Games squad, pestered the region’s reigning silver medalists and helped the Philippines upset Vietnam, 27-25. 26-24, 17-25, 25-23 in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball ChampionshipADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Canete makes good on promise to help save PH polo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments The 5-foot libero was aware of how ahead the Vietnamese are in the rankings but she knew that momentum can change easily by just a few plays on the floor.READ: Philippines stuns Vietnam in AVC FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“I thought at first that ‘oh no we’re facing one of the top teams in the world,’” said Macandili in Filipino. “But when we started playing, I said to myself ‘wait this is volleyball we’re talking about,’ this is anybody’s game.”And even though Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago brought the offensive pain with 20 and 19 points, respectively, it was Macandili who frustrated the 44th-ranked team in the world in the defensive end. Macandili registered 19 excellent digs, 13 more than Vietnam’s Dinh Thi Thuy, and 12 excellent receptions to help the Philippines, 79th-ranked team in the world.READ: Valdez, Santiago praise Maraño in PH win over Vietnam And there were plays that weren’t recorded in the stat sheet, for instance Macandili’s several heart-stopping receptions on Tran Thi Thanh Thuy’s booming spikes.“For the past two games, I was still finding my groove,” said Macandili who shares libero duties with Denden Lazaro. “So I think I finally got my rhythm against Vietnam.”ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo read more
Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (right) hugs sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott after the Buckeyes’ 31-24 win against Minnesota on Nov. 15 in Minneapolis.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor“Beat Indiana.”Those are the first words Urban Meyer spoke when the topic of the College Football Playoff rankings came up Wednesday evening, but the Ohio State coach recognized that everyone knows the Buckeyes have moved up to No. 6 in the poll.Meyer said he addresses the national landscape with his team on Sundays, but stressed that continued preparation for the next opponent is of the utmost importance.“I haven’t talked to ‘em since I guess it came out Tuesday night,” he said. “You’ve just got to take care of business and play hard and practice well.”OSU’s rise in the rankings — the team was No. 14 two weeks ago — comes on the heels of consecutive road game wins against then-No. 8 Michigan State and No. 25 Minnesota. Meyer said those two wins were key to the Buckeyes’ rise, and the College Football Playoff panel took notice.“Back-to-back road wins against top-25 teams,” he said. “That’s significant.”Senior tight end Jeff Heuerman agreed with his coach that the ranking is important, saying “it’s big” that OSU has worked its way back into the national picture.“There’s probably six, seven teams who really are still in it,” Heuerman said Wednesday. “Still have a legitimate shot at making that top four. That’s what you worked all offseason for, so you’re right in the heat of it right now. So it’s special.”But with two regular season games remaining on the schedule, and a potential shot at a Big Ten Championship on their minds, the Buckeyes have work to do to put themselves in the top four. Either an OSU win or a Michigan State loss would book the Buckeyes a ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis on Dec. 6, but a loss against Indiana, Michigan or in the title game would likely remove OSU from any national championship conversation.Heuerman said the rankings don’t mean anything if the team can’t continue its winning ways.“Obviously we gotta finish out the season strong,” he said. “Otherwise it doesn’t matter. So you gotta take care of business these next two games and hopefully a third game and go from there.”Meyer has stressed throughout the season that OSU’s main goal is to “compete for championships in November,” and the team will have that chance if it can win just one more game.With their goal just a step away, junior defensive lineman Adolphus Washington said the Buckeyes have to keep up the intensity as the season winds down, not only to compete for a conference championship, but to insert themselves into the first-ever College Football Playoff.“We all have a goal and that’s to get to that Big Ten title game and get into the top four,” Washington said Wednesday. “Right now, we’re No. 6 so you can’t slow down, you gotta keep going.”While those on the team have kept their confidence, OSU’s early season loss to Virginia Tech at home put a dent in its playoff hopes. Since then, the Buckeyes have slowly worked their way into the conversation for the top four, but debuted at just No. 16 in the first playoff poll three weeks ago.The Buckeyes then moved up to No. 14 after a 55-14 win against Illinois on Nov. 1, and rocketed up eight more spots after topping the Spartans and Golden Gophers in consecutive weeks.Heuerman said the rise in the rankings — starting before the Michigan State matchup — has helped the Buckeyes settle into what he said they call “the new normal.” He said the mindset of the team has changed, and everyone has raised up the intensity to do what they can to make reach their goals.“You’re back in the conversation,” Heuerman said. “Before that Michigan State game you really weren’t, so that week of preparation and execution that weekend, it kind of put us back into things.“So when it kind of put us back into things, we kinda had to amp everything back up and really get this thing going. And make sure we finish where we want to finish.”Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett — who has moved into the Heisman Trophy conversation as the Buckeyes have climbed the rankings — said OSU has been able to do the main things needed to move back into the national picture.“It’s about getting better each and every week and winning games,” Barrett said Wednesday. “And I feel like we’re doing that at Ohio State.”With two games currently on the schedule and a No. 6 ranking in tow, sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa said Wednesday that the Buckeyes recognize what their standing means going forward.“That we’re two steps away from being in it all,” Bosa said.OSU’s next step toward a potential playoff appearance is set to come on Saturday against Indiana at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon. read more
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