#Bahamas, May 28, 2018 – Nassau – During IIA Week 2018, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K. Peter Turnquest announced that the Government’s VAT audit plan will create new career paths for Bahamians, and eliminate the practice of outsourcing to international VAT auditors
Author: K. Peter Turnquest, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Event: Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Bahamas Chapter, IIA Week 2018
Date: May 25, 2018
Since the introduction of VAT by the former administration, the Government has outsourced its VAT auditing to an international team of VAT auditors. We fly them in quarterly at great expense to stay for several months at a time to conduct spot checks on VAT registrants.
For the first time, we have implemented a strategic plan for the Government to transfer those responsibilities to Bahamian professionals. Over the next few years, we will transition to a full team of Bahamian VAT auditors, creating new career paths for Bahamian professionals.
Between the demand for VAT auditing and VAT accounting we are creating new sub-sectors of opportunity for Bahamians. And as we continue our tax reform plans, tax accounting and tax auditing on the whole will expand.
We recognize that words like accountability and transparency must be more than political buzzwords. We must back that up by taking steps to ensure that we have a cadre of qualified financial and accounting professionals to enable the government to track and account for revenue and expenditure, and to uphold its commitments to fiscal responsibility.
This Government has concrete plans that are already being implemented. The Ministry of Finance is currently recruiting 30 accountants: 15 of them will support the needs of the Central Government as it transitions to accrual accounting and undergoes public financial management reform; 15 of them will be trained specifically to join the VAT audit team.
The government has already bolstered the Treasury Department by recruiting 10 junior accountants. A few senior professionals will also be brought on to assist with the broader restructuring that is underway.
Release: Ministry of Finance