Financial mismanagement unearthed: S. Sudan assembly investigate Auditor's report
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) will effective Monday begin the long-awaited public hearing on the Auditor General’s 2007/2008 report, which unearthed massive financial mismanagement in the country.
The hearings, according to a statement issued by the committee’s clerk, are part of the scrutiny and fact finding task of the PAC on the audit report for the two fiscal years, following Auditor General’s reports.
Steven Wondu, in his audit reports, reportedly found no evidence that the country’s Finance ministry based release of funds to government agencies on approved budget lines, contrary to the Financial Accounting and Procedures Ordinance (FAPO).
"Respect for the integrity of the budget remained a worrying challenge", Wondu’s audit reports read in part.
"While some institutions were cash starved, others received, on the discretion of the Ministry, more funds than were legally authorized", it adds.
The report, copies of which Sudan Tribune has obtained, mainly covers nine specific areas. These included; budget execution, oil revenues, non-oil revenue, payroll and operating expenditures, procurement and capital expenditure, bank and cash accounts, internal controls, maintenance and asset registers.
In the report, for instance, the Auditor General faults the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs of allegedly spending US$15,514,488, which it says was 475% out of budget, while the same ministry reportedly exceeded the budgetary payroll and operating expenditures by 202% and 112% respectively.
The Education, Science and Technology Ministry, the Auditor General noted, spent US$3,860,917 out of its allocated budget, and allegedly used SDG 8 million, initially meant for ‘casual workers’ in a manner unexplained.
Other agencies implicated include, the Health Ministry, the SSLA, Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development, Finance and Economic Planning, Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Affairs, Internal Affairs, and South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC).
Meanwhile, the Auditor General, in his declaimer accused the Interior and SPLA Affairs ministries of not submitting documents for audit, despite several attempts requesting them to do so through letters and meetings.
"In view of this, I am unable to render an opinion on the financial statements with respect to these ministries for the year 2007", he says in reference to the two ministries.
The four-day public hearing, which begins on Monday with the Ministry of General Education, will end Thursday with a presentation from the audit chambers.