Although auditors are still trying to obtain more than 100 financial documents, Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) Chairman Tennyson Wells said they are “optimistic” that an audit into the institute will be completed within “six to eight weeks”.
The institute has been plagued with controversy which some attributed to mismanagement by the previous government.
In May 2017, the Minnis administration announced that a forensic audit would be conducted on the institution.
In February, Wells said the audit was expected to be completed by the end of March.
However, that never happened.
During a recent interview, Wells said, “They (auditors) should be able to wrap it up soon as they get these payroll accounts.”
He added, “They said they got all of the other information except the payroll checks. They had written back to the bank and they hope to get them and they’re going to wind it up based on that.
“They apparently will leave the audit of the buildings, you know all of the buildings contracts that was with the Ministry of Works, for the Ministry of Works to deal with.”
He said there is suspicion that there were “ghost people” on BAMSI’s payroll.
Asked for the timeline for the completion of the audit, he said, “If they get that, I believe that that will be finished within the next couple of weeks. Let’s say six to eight weeks.”
In June 2017, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister described BAMSI as a “free for all” under the former Progressive Liberal Party administration, which he claimed was “complicit in certain irregular acts” regarding the controversial project.