We believe the Auditor General was forced to hold a press conference to correct the so called anomalies in the Auditor General’s Reports.
It is unprecedented and unethical for the Auditor-General to reveal so-called anomalies in the Reports of the Auditor-General through a press conference.
We firmly believe the Reports will be sanitised.
The fact that the Auditor- General revealed the supposed anomalies in a press conference in the presence of officials from the Ministry of Finance raises many questions. Why should they be present with the Auditor-General, which is an independent office?
When Reports of the Auditor General are compiled queries are directed to the Ministry of Economy or the relevant Budget Sector for comments and clarification. In the latest Audit General’s Reports those responsible for management of funds have either not commented or stated they will improve the procedures.
It is apparent that the Ministry did not clarify these matters or was in agreement with the Auditor General.
Furthermore, any anomalies can be clarified through scrutiny before the Public Accounts Committee. The Ministry appears before the Committee and provides evidence. This has been the long standing practice. This is the forum where clarifications and corrections are made before PAC submits its Report to Parliament after intense scrutiny.
We therefore find this totally unacceptable, unethical, in violation of audit practices and a hammer blow to transparency and accountability.
We call on the Auditor General to stop any process of doing a supplementary report that is planned to be presented to Parliament.
Professor Biman Prasad