On Tuesday, the Auditor-General’s report for Financial Year 15/16 was released. In their media release, AGO announced that it accounted 16 Government ministries and 8 organs of state. It uncovered a number of instances of inadequate financial controls and that management of public funds was weak in certain areas audited.
The Government Financial Statements (incorporates the accounts of 16 Government ministries and 8 organs of state)
4 Government funds
11 statutory boards
5 Government-owned companies
3 other accounts
In this year’s audits, AGO uncovered a number of instances of inadequate financial controls over Government operations including those outsourced to external operators. There were cases of inadequate controls over collection of fees resulting in loss of revenue to the Government. There were also instances where the controls were inadequate for ensuring that correct payments were made for services rendered.
AGO noted that governance over the management of public funds was weak in certain areas audited. In one public sector entity, the principles of good governance and financial controls were disregarded in several areas, resulting in a lack of financial accountability.
Another area of concern is the failure to exercise adequate oversight of external entities which were lax in their administration of schemes and loans. For proper accountability, it is important that controls and mechanisms are in place to ensure that public funds are used to achieve the intended objectives.
AGO also observed lapses in the management of contracts resulting in late payment to contractors. In additions, there was laxity in management of contract variations in an entity resulting in a significant number of instances where approvals were sought only after the variation works had already commenced or were completed.
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