About SAIB


MISSION STATEMENT

The Office of the Auditor General of Belize is Mandated by the Constitution to foster, through independent assurance, parliamentary control over the public funds and all other public property for the benefit of all Belizeans.

VISION

An Independent, Respected and Expert Institution serving the National Assembly by providing a variety of assurance services aimed at improving the accountability of the Belizean Public Sector.

VALUES

Impartial – independent and objective
Professional – displaying integrity, reliability, competence and a strong service ethic
Engaging – client and outcome focused
Respectful – communicating openly and transparently
Collaborative – valuing our people and working together
Relevance – timely and current reporting

The Office of the Auditor General


The Auditor General is appointed by the Governor-General, acting on the recommendation of both Houses of the National Assembly. In accordance with Section 12 of the Finance and Audit Reform Act Revised Edition 2011, the Auditor General shall, on behalf of the National Assembly audit the accounts of all Accounting Officers and of all persons entrusted with the collection, receipt, custody, issue or payment of public moneys, or with the receipt, custody, issue, sale transfer or delivery of any stamps, securities, stores or other Government property of any kind and shall also ascertain whether:

  • All reasonable precautions have been taken to safeguard the collection of public moneys and that the laws, directions and instructions related thereto have been duly observed;
  • All public moneys disbursed have been expended under proper authority and for the purpose or purposes intended by such authority; and
  • All reasonable precautions have been taken to safeguard the receipt, custody, issue and proper use of government property, including stamps, securities and stores and that the laws, instructions and directions relating thereto have been duly observed.

The Auditor General is required to prepare and submit annual reports to the National Assembly through the Minister of Finance; however special reports on any matter incidental to the powers and duties under the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act may be prepared for presentation to the National Assembly at any time.

Powers of the Auditor General

 

In the exercise of her duties the Auditor General is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority, and in accordance with Section 13 of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act, the Auditor General:

  • May call upon any public officer for any explanations and information she may require in order to enable her to discharge her duties;
  • Shall have access to all documents, finances, stores, or other Government property of any kind in the possession of any public officer;
  • May, authorize any public officer to conduct on her behalf any inquiry or examination of audit;
  • May without payment of any fee, cause a search to be made in and extracts to be taken from any book, document, or record, including in electronic form, in any public office;
  • May lay before the Attorney General a case in writing as to any question regarding the interpretation of any law concerning the powers of the Auditor General or the discharge of her duties;
  • Shall immediately bring to the immediate notice of the Minister any matter which appears to be considered fraud, or serious loss or serious irregularity, which has occurred in the receipt, custody, issue, sale, transfer or delivery of any stamps;
    securities, stores or other government property.
  • Shall have access to all books, vouchers, documents, cash, stamps, securities, stores or other government property of any kind whatsoever, including electronic form, in the possession of any public officer.

In its one hundred and thirty one years of existence the changes to the Office of the Auditor General have mostly been nominal. The Office saw its beginnings during the crown colony period as an Audit Department, under the leadership of a Principal Auditor then went on to being the Office of the Auditor General and now strives to be recognized nationally, regionally and internationally as the Supreme Audit Institution of Belize.

In keeping with the universal drive for better governance through improved accountability and transparency, Belize, like most other countries of the world continues to strive for improved governance. At the Office of the Auditor General we recognize the important role, which we play in ensuring governmental accountability.

The basic framework to ensure the effectiveness of the Office of the Auditor General is already in place. The framework includes legislation to amend the Constitution to provide independence to the Auditor General and making provisions to allow the Office, as an oversight body, to have first call on the national budget. In addition the new Finance and Audit (Reform) Act Revised Edition 2011 clearly outlines the roles and functions of the Office. The Office has seen tremendous support of its programs from the government; however much more can be done.

SAIB’s main role is to ensure transparency and accountability over the use of public funds and assets. In discharging its mandate SAIB as well must ensure that its professionals are held to the same high levels of professionalism and ethical standards. The Value Statement captures the corporate philosophy and values that will characterize and guide the way in which the team at SAIB functions. The SAIB is responsible to examine the facts and report such findings as required by law and do so devoid of any type of considerations that lies outside the remit of the law. It also must ensure the following:

  • The national accounts presented to it are complete and accurate and give a true view of the financial affairs of the country.
  • Establish that the accounts are arithmetically correct and that receipts and payments are posted correctly to the appropriate accounts.
  • That all transactions, which ought to have been recorded, have been recorded.
  • That no misleading information is included.
  • That all relevant facts are brought to attention and that assets stated do in fact exist.