6 Oct

Auctions proved profitable for sellers last week with $44 million worth of Queensland homes changing hands

first_img1 Dungogie Drive, Tallebudgera was one of the properties to change hands in the past couple of weeks.ALMOST $44 million worth of Queensland homes changed hands at auction in the past week.According to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland the median auction price achieved last week was $698,162, which was higher than the Brisbane median house price of $670,000.CoreLogic figures put the preliminary auction clearance rate at 53.8 per cent, which was just slightly higher than the same time last year when it was 53.1 per cent.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoIt said there were currently 17,870 properties listed for sale in Queensland, which was 7 per cent less than the same time last year.The top sale in Brisbane last week was for a house at 1 Dungogie Drive, Tallebudgera, which sold for $2,255 million.The five-bedroom house, in the Tallebudgera Park Estate, included a three metre built-in aquarium, gold class home theatre room and state of the art kitchen.The property also had a 25 metre swimming pool, a sandy beach and poolside gazebo.The home was listed through John Fischer and Ilona Barry of LJ Hooker – Mudgeeraba.last_img read more

18 Sep

‘The Return of the Dragon` can happen – Bristol

first_imgTHE advent of COVID-19 has given Dexter Marques enough time to think and reflect. In doing so, Marques came to grips with the fact that he really has two persons on his mind. One is Leon `Hurry Up’ Moore and the other is Elton Dharry. The obvious reason is that both gave him the two blemishes on his professional record.Moore TKOed Marques in the second round in June 2009. However, fresher in the memory of the former national bantamweight champion is his loss to Dharry.Marques was stopped in the seventh round by his USA-based opponent in May 2011 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. At stake then was the World Boxing Council (WBC) CABOFE bantamweight title.Promoter Seon BristolThe defeat has left a sour taste in the mouth of the stylish fighter who has ever since been hoping to repay Dharry, in full.  So while COVID-19 has caused others to let their guards down, Marques would have been filling up on ways to attract and then defeat Dharry.  “Leon Moore doesn’t fight anymore so I don’t think there is a way of me getting him out of retirement. I’ll have to live with that. Dharry is currently active and fair game. I did a lot of wrong things in our previous fight and I now better understand the way to take care of this youngster once he has the guts to get back into the ring,” Marques bragged recently.So confident is the former champion that he has forwarded a request to promoter Seon Bristol of Bris O Promotions to make the event happen. “Next four, five or six months, next year doesn’t matter to me. But the earlier we get it on the better. Once COVID-19 is off I’ll say let’s get it on,” Marques added.When contacted, the Brooklyn USA-based boxing promoter Bristol acknowledged that he has been approached and has interest in making the card he dubbed, `Return of the Dragon’ happen.Elton Dharry“I have had extended relationships with both fighters and in my opinion they make solid foundation for a mega event in Guyana. However, a lot will depend on COVID-19. Once we can get past that then it’s a go for me,” Bristol stated.“We have heard from Marques. I think the appropriate thing now would be to hear from the Dharry camp,” the promoter concluded.Since his last defeat, Marques has chalked up nine victories. He has not competed since January 2018 but is confident that two months of work will put him in the shape that will worry, confuse and ultimately defeat his USA-based opponent.“I am never too far from the gym. I live the life of a true fighter. This fact is easy to prove, just get Dharry into the ring. I am now turning this over to Mr Bristol and Dharry. Let’s get ready to rumble.”last_img
15 Jan

Improving Liberia’s Public Sector Management: The Role of the Internal Audit Agency

first_imgIntroductionThe increased attraction of foreign direct investments to post-conflict Liberia and the Government’s efforts to reduce poverty and make Liberia a middle-income country by 2030 will have little impact if public sector management remains wanting. Effective public sector performance will greatly determine the extent to which Liberia steadily remains on the road to reconstruction and development. Corruption and inefficiency continue to be stubborn obstacles to good public sector management. In their efforts to reduce corruption and promote the proper use of public sector resources, multiple government entities—including the Ministry of Justice, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the Civil Service Agency (CSA), the General Auditing Commission (GAC), the Governance Commission (GC) and the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC)—are severely challenged by entrenched bad practices in the public sector. Many of these institutions are putting up their best fight against public sector corruption and inefficiency, but the battle is overwhelming, to say the least.       Any hope for good public sector management?Some hope seems to lie in the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), an outgrowth of the Internal Audit Secretariat (IAS), which was created by the Liberian Government to help improve public sector performance. The IAA has the legal mandate to “Establish and direct internal audit functions within all branches of Government including the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary; and all public entities such as, public corporations, autonomous agencies, autonomous commissions, Government ministries and the Central Bank of Liberia.” The mandate also charges the IAA to “Advise and/or provide assurance that financial and operational activities of Government are in compliance with laws, policies, plans, standards and procedures that are applicable.”In line with this legal responsibility, the IAA has been assuming and reorganizing the internal audit functions of government agencies, and working with them to improve their financial and operational processes. Through risk assessment, assurance, advisory and other audit functions, the IAA works with government agencies to improve performance in priority areas such as payroll and personnel management, bank reconciliations, pre-auditing of disbursements, assets management, accounting and budgetary controls, prior audit recommendations and procurement. These efforts are contributing to better outcomes in the public sector and saving the Government of Liberia huge sums of money and other resources.In 2011, the IAS—the precursor of the IAA–started the deployment of internal auditors in eight government ministries. Today, IAA is working with 35 government ministries and public corporations. IAA auditors are recruited through rigorous testing and interview processes conducted with the help of diverse panelists. The auditors are predominantly college-educated. Many hold advanced degrees, while some have professional certifications such as Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).The Challenges of Change The deployment of internal auditors at Government agencies has received mixed responses. Most agency heads have embraced the assistance of the IAA. They generally consult with the internal auditors as often as needed on financial and operational issues. Some agency heads would hardly authorize certain transactions unless the transactions have been cleared by the internal auditors. Understandably, a few other agencies have been struggling with the new phenomenon of independent internal auditors. The IAA understands and expects these struggles—seeing them as a normal part of the change process. Change can be uncertain, complex and difficult, thereby engendering fears and suspicion. Therefore, the IAA has modified its baseline and continued education training curricula to help its auditors to effectively handle difficult institutional change reactions. Embedded in the new curricula are critical soft skills and other content areas such as conceptual and interpersonal competence, communications diplomacy, organizational culture, group dynamics, complexity of change, resistance to change, fear, stress reduction, conflict resolution and transformational leadership.       GAC and IAA: The DifferenceIt’s often asked why the IAA is needed when the GAC already exists? The GAC is an external auditor. At specified times, it goes in and audits government entities. Important as this exercise might be, sometimes damage (e.g., falsified information, resource abuse, theft or regulatory breach) has already been done.In contrast, the IAA is an internal auditor. It operates as an independent but integral part of the institutions in which its auditors are deployed. It goes into a government agency and assumes the internal audit function. The IAA reviews, studies and follows the financial and operational activities of an agency. It then advises and helps the agency to meet the required regulations, policies and procedures. For example, a GAC review may come at the end of a project, while an IAA review may happen in real time, thereby increasing the opportunity for new decisions and actions to be taken for a project to succeed.ConclusionThe socio-economic development of Liberia depends greatly on the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. Due to the current state of Liberia’s public sector, a lot of help is needed to contribute to the transformation of Liberia, as well as raise the nation’s living standard to a middle-income level. The adoption of the IAA concept, which is gaining traction in Africa and other developing regions, could not happen at a better time in post-conflict Liberia. The IAA represents the latest tool in the Government’s toolbox to make the public sector more effective, efficient, transparent and accountable. About the AuthorZobong consults with the IAA. He also teaches in the Graduate Program in Education at the University of Liberia. Zobong holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northeastern University in the United States.     Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

27 Dec

FEARS OVER MCBREARTY’S DONEGAL GAA FUTURE AS HE HAS AUSTRALIAN TRIALS

first_imgDonegal GAA is in a tailspin with the news that the county’s hottest young player could be about to head to Australia to play football.Patrick McBrearty, the 18 year old star nurtured by manager Jim McGuinness, is now a target for recruiters looking to add his name to a list of players heading Down Under.The Kilcar man attended Kerry star Tadhg Kennelly’s football camp at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin yesterday (see picture). McBrearty was joined by a host of other young stars from Dublin, Cork, Armagh and Kildare as potential targets for the AFL.Kennelly, the only man to win both an All-Ireland medal (with Kerry in 2009) and AFL Premiership medallion (with the Sydney Swans in 2005), was appointed to an ambassadorial role by the AFL last December.It is understood the Kerryman is a big fan of McBrearty considering he has gained such valuable experience and played on the big stage at such a young age.The GAA were not made aware of yesterday’s gathering in Tallaght. McBrearty, who is due to sit his Leaving Certificate, is the latest Donegal star to be linked with a move to Australia to be paid to play football with the oval ball.Donegal captain Michael Murphy has long been associated with a move Down Under but the DCU student has said he has no plans to move.A senior Donegal GAA source said McBrearty could well grab the chance to get a taste of life in Oz.“He is really rated by Kennelly and from what I understand he impressed in Tallaght.“He’s a level-headed young fella and he could go away for a coupe of years and come back and he’d still only be in his early 20s with his football career here in front of him. “There’s a lot of pressure but you have lads like Tommy Walsh from Kerry who went down there and they are really enjoying their football and the lifestyle,” he said.FEARS OVER MCBREARTY’S DONEGAL GAA FUTURE AS HE HAS AUSTRALIAN TRIALS was last modified: February 16th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:AustraliadonegalGAAkilcarpatrick mcbreartylast_img read more