Baker Tilly insists on withholding Cashgate names: Donors laud Auditor General

Malawi’s major donors have described the Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa as “a very professional man who needs support to root out graft and corruption in Malawi.”

The sentiments come hot on the heels of bickering amongst Malawians after the top-most auditor in Malawi Supreme Audit Institution refused to make public names of perpetrators of the now famous cashgate scam.

He cited professional ethics and unfinished investigations as major reasons for his decision.

“When he started to relent and almost revealed the names to your Public Accounts Committee, we were very concerned. I think it was going to be a costly decision to the whole nation because Malawi Government would have lost majority if not all cases contested in court. At that point there was no reason to continue with the audit process because criminals would have cleaned all the desks,” said one top diplomat.

Stephen Kamphasa and  Baker Tiilly's Mack-Sullivan

Stephen Kamphasa and Baker Tiilly’s Mack-Sullivan

The diplomat said during the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (CABS) meetings scheduled to start on Tuesday March 25th, 2014 will also discuss giving more technical assistance to the National Audit Office (NAO) to effectively deal with backlog of audits.

“The German Government has promised to fund the extensive forensic audit, and that is good news,” the diplomat said.

Meanwhile, the foreign forensic auditors Baker Tilly have written the Auditor General re-emphasising the need not to give out names publicly before case files and investigations are completed.

In a letter that was circulated in the PAC meeting last week and Nyasa Times has in possession  is signed by Richard Smith, Partner for Baker Tilly Risk Advisory Services LLP.

In this letter, the Auditor General is again being vindicated by his professional stance not to disclose the names of the perpetrators before the investigation process is complete.

Ann investigation report by British auditors -showed that K13 billion was stolen in six months from April to September in 2013.LETTER 1LETTER 2

That equates to more than one percent of GDP, in a one of the world’s poorest countries, where state services are poor and life expectancy is just 54 years.

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