THE failure by the Government to respond to revelations of gross abuse, illegal dealings and fraud in the Office of the Public Curator is of grave concern to the Public Accounts Committee.
It commenced an inquiry into the said office after the Government failed to act on findings and recommendations of the Auditor-General into this office for a period of five years.
A large number of very serious allegations of misconduct were levelled against the Office of the Public Curator and its staff.
Those reports and complaints extended over many years.
Said the PAC in its report to Parliament: “The Auditor-General identified significant failures in those financial accounts, serious financial and administration problems and wide mismanagement at all levels within the Office of the Public Curator, over a long period of time.
“These conclusions were not new. The committee notes that, in 1999, the Auditor-General was unable to provide any opinion as to the reliability of financial statements and the 1999 Audit Report identified significant shortcomings in record-keeping and control within the Office of the Public Curator.
“That the Government has failed to address these findings in the last five years is unacceptable.”
The PAC conducted this inquiry to establish the standard to which and the competence and honesty with which the Office of the Public Curator has fulfilled its role as the trustee of estates – and therefore its statutory position as the State appointed, funded and accountable trustee.
The inquiry also sought to establish whether the Public Curator, in all its operations, complied with all lawful requirements and, if not, to make recommendations for change.
It sought to establish the exact state of estates managed by the Office of the Public Curator and the liability of the State (if any) for failings within the Office of the Public Curator.