Lebanon Finance Ministry to audit government accounts after suspicion of malpractice

Published June 10th, 2015 - 07:56 GMT
The ministry is conducting thorough auditing of all accounts dating back to 1996. (AFP/File)
The ministry is conducting thorough auditing of all accounts dating back to 1996. (AFP/File)

Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil promised Tuesday to thoroughly audit outstanding accounts from previous years with an eye open for any evidence of irregularities or malpractices.

“Today, I assure you that the Finance Ministry, and with the help of other departments and committees, will complete all pending accounts for the previous years,” Khalil told participants in a conference on the implementation of international accounting standards for the public sector.

The Free Patriotic Movement has claimed that previous governments violated all accounting rules when they spent public money in a haphazard way, as well as exceeded budget ceilings.

Khalil and his team are reportedly conducting thorough auditing of all accounts dating back to 1996.

But Future Movement lawmakers and former ministers vehemently deny any wrongdoing at the ministry when MP Fouad Siniora was prime minister.

“The Finance Ministry has made great progress in its work and needs some more time to complete all pending issues,” Khalil said.

He added that the ministry is willing to place all its findings before the Parliament to take the appropriate measures.

Khalil also assured that the ministry would issue thorough and transparent monthly and periodical reports on the budget deficit and financial statements.

“I realize that issuing these reports requires absolute objectivity removed from any financial accounting which conceals many loopholes in the state and some institutions,” Khalil said.

He criticized the political rhetoric and tone of some politicians, saying this affected the performance of the government and all institutions in the country.

Khalil urged politicians to keep politics away from government institutions, repeating calls for the election of a new president and endorsement of the 2015 draft budget.

“Every party has a right to express its view in any way it wants, but what is important is not to demolish the temple on all our heads,” he stressed.

The minister has previously warned that the World Bank may withdraw all grants to build dams and other vital projects in Lebanon if lawmakers fail to pass the budget soon.

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