TRHA audit report still secret

 Sheldon Cyrus  -
Sheldon Cyrus -

The internal audit report into the finance, human resources, and information technology departments of the Tobago Region Health Authority remains secret. Secretary for the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development Dr Agatha Carrington promised twice, in July and September, to make the findings public. The audit was completed in July and during a post-Executive Council media briefing Carrington announced the final report would be provided “very promptly.”

“I do not have the report and so I couldn’t quote from it at all," she said. "But I feel certain that that can be provided as soon as the report becomes available to me.” At another Executive Council media briefing in September, asked about the report, Carrington again promised to make the findings public, as she didn't "anticipate that it would be anything private." She said the report was in the hands of TRHA CEO Sheldon Cyrus, who was expected to make recommendations to the TRHA board based on the findings of the audit. She expected the report would be provided to the board by the CEO and then forwarded to her. On Tuesday, when Newsday asked about the report being made public, Cyrus asked, “Where that came from?” Newsday told Cyrus the secretary had promised it would be made public.

In response, Cyrus said, “The discussion about it being public – if that is what you all discuss with her, then you all should take that up with her.”Calls to Carrington went unanswered.Before the start of the investigation, on March 19, a number of employees in the departments were sent on administrative leave with full pay and benefits. The reason the authority gave was that an independent payroll audit had become necessary to manage the TRHA’s expenditure more efficiently. The authority said in a release, “This is not a punitive action but an administrative one that is necessary to ensure the independence of the payroll review process.”On Tuesday, Cyrus told Newsday all employees who had been sent on leave returned to work.Three of the seven returned between November and early December and the remaining four returned on December 10. Of the seven, two were from the finance department, one from HR and another from the IT department.

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