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21st April 2015, 21:11

GFA financial audit highlights "significant deficiencies in internal control"

An audit of the financial statements of the Gibraltar Football Association for the year ended 31st May 2014 highlights "significant deficiencies in internal control". The Audit Findings Report presented by Baker Tilly last November, of which GBC has obtained a copy, notes that an inaccurate list of credit card holders was being kept, as previous authorised card-holders' cards were still active after they had resigned from their posts. This, and the fact there were no controls to reconcile card transactions could, in the auditors' view, lead to unauthorised transactions taking place.

The GFA had not kept its Bank Mandate up to date. It contained individuals who had resigned from their posts and were no longer eligible to be authorised signatories to the bank acount. In addition, bank transfers made by email were issued by a sole authorised signatory, when two were required. The report states there was a risk that any sole signatory effecting bank transfers could lead to fraud or error.

Other deficiencies included the lack of a formal budget and procurement process and the absence of documentary records of funds received by the GFA in respect of club registration fees and ticket sales. The Association, according to the auditors, was also in breach of PAYE regulations, as tax and Social Insurance contributions had not been paid by the due dates.

The financial statements reveal that the GFA's income was primarily derived from UEFA. It received over £900,000 from the Hat Trick Solidarity programme and £1.1 million from other UEFA funding, making a total of just over £2 millions. 

GBC decided to publish the story because we consider it to be in the public interest. 

GFA RESPONSE

The Audit Findings Report prepared by Baker Tilly for the GFA in 2014 is a private and confidential document which served as guidance for the GFA in terms of improving financial processes and procedures.

In fact, the first page of the report states:

"This report has been prepared for the sole use of the Gibraltar Football Association and must not be disclosed to any third party or quoted or referred to without our written consent".

The GFA is therefore surprised and disappointed that GBC should seek to make use of a confidential document in a manner which is clearly in breach of the auditor's own conditions.

Nevertheless, the GFA is already embarked on carrying out the improvements laid out in the Audit Findings Report, including the appointment of a very experienced Finance Director earlier this year.

The GFA will therefore continue to improve its internal processes and procedures and will continue to seek the advice of auditors and other financial experts in this endeavor.