AG finds no evidence to support allegation of malpractice surrounding loan awards from DBJ for ICT/BPO sector

The Auditor General’s Department has found no evidence to support the allegation of malpractice surrounding loan awards from the Development Bank of Jamaica DBJ, for the ICT/BPO sector.

The report from the AG was tabled in Parliament, yesterday (October 4).

The Auditor General noted that the DBJ provides funding and technical assistance to large projects in addition to assisting Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

The DBJ’s operations are governed by the Development Bank of Jamaica Act, Companies Act, the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act, as well as the Ministry of Finance Approved Corporate Governance Framework for Public Bodies.

The DBJ awarded over 72,800 loans for the period 2015-16 to 2020-21, totaling over 39 million, 7 hundred and 87 thousand dollars.

The Auditor General conducted a special audit in response to anonymous allegations of malpractice in the award of loans, and conflict of interest made against certain members of the board of directors of the DBJ for the period 2015-16 to 2021-22.

The AG sought to assess whether there were breaches in the policies and procedures of the DBJ in addition to conflicts of interest and bias in the awarding of loans to companies operating within the ICT/BPO sector.

The AG also sought to assess the extent to which any company or connected party benefited disproportionately from the concessionary loans granted by the DBJ.

This audit followed a performance audit that was executed in 2015.

The AG said it saw evidence of conflict of interest and determined that verbal disclosures were made in the board meetings and reflected in board minutes.

It said the evidence provided also indicated that instances of conflict of interest were managed by board members recusing themselves from deliberations related to the ICT/BPO sector in which they had an interest.

The AG said notwithstanding verbal declarations, the DBJ’s board should ensure that conflict of interest declaration forms are signed and submitted to the Finance Ministry, as outlined in DBJ’s corporate governance framework, to mitigate any risk of perception of a lack of transparency related to conflicts of interest.

It said these variances if left unresolved, will increase the perception of infringement on the corporate governance framework, which will serve to undermine the integrity of DBJ’s operations.

The AG is urging the DBJ to consider the recommendation, so that confidence may be maintained in the integrity of its operations.


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.