The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) is currently undergoing its first financial audit in six years. The corporation is also close to completing a manpower audit of its “heavily” overstaffed complement of 160 employees.
BAIC Chairman Bishop Gregory Collie said the corporation has not had an external audit conducted since 2014, and has contracted BDO Chartered Accountants and Advisors to complete the exercise by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
“We’re outstanding an external audit since 2014 through 2018. We are currently feverishly trying to get those audits completed in a meaningful time. We are currently at 2014 and we suspect that we should shortly be moving on to 2015. Hopefully by the next 60 days we’ll have the whole audit completed,” Collie said during a press conference at BAIC headquarters on Friday.
“I want you to be aware that since 2014, BAIC has not had an external audit to determine the position of this corporation and so the board is working feverishly to try and get that resolved, so that the public will have a full accounting of what transpired over those years here at BAIC. Hopefully once we’ve completed 2014 to 2018 we will move swiftly to complete 2019, so that we will be up to date.”
The government increased its allocation for BAIC this fiscal year to $6.2 million, up from the $4 million allocated in the 2018/19 budget cycle.
The audit comes as the corporation also conducts a rightsizing assessment of its staff.
“I also want to advise the press that we are getting ready to conclude a manpower audit in the corporation because the corporation is heavily overstaffed. We’ve been trying to maintain the staff levels without having to terminate, but we will see what that audit says and we will let the public know what the conclusions are with respect to that audit,” Collie said.
“We hope to have that completed as well very shortly, at least by the end of February we should have it completed, so that we can table it to the minister and so we can have further discussions on where the government wants us to go in that regard.”
A company called Strive Wise was contracted to conduct the manpower audit.