External auditors here to look at major public bodies


15-May-2009

The review, by Ernst and Young Paris, will look at the Seychelles Petroleum Company (Sepec), Air Seychelles, the Seychelles Trading Company (STC), the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA), the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), the Islands Development Company (IDC) and Nouvobanq.

It will also identify any potential exposure to risk for the government as the majority shareholder in each of them. 
The auditors will present their findings to the Ministry of Finance and will also put in place an action plan to ensure improvements in public bodies. The final report is due on September 1.

The 13-strong Ernst and Young group, divided into three teams, will spend about three months in Seychelles, and a partner and senior manager from France will be in charge of the overall financial audit process.

Each team will include a manager, consultant, IT expert and junior consultant, with the first team examining Air Seychelles, the SCAA and the IDC.

The second team will examine Sepec, the PUC and the STC, and the third team – which will look only at Nouvobanq – will have a consultant specialising in the finance sector.

The audits are being conducted as part of an International Monetary Fund and World Bank recommendation in 2008, when they determined there are risks to the government because of the current lack of accountability, monitoring and control of this sector.

Ernst and Young was the successful bidder in a closed tender process finalised earlier this month. It has provided references showing its experience in auditing in other countries, including state-owned banks, aviation, manufacturing, state-owned petroleum companies, farming and utilities.  Its auditors have been chosen for their industry experience.

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