The National Audit Office (NAO) has justified the hiring of British auditing firm, Baker Tilly to audit the Integrated Finance Management System (IFMS), stating the Malawi Government lacked funding to engage local auditors to screen the system.
This has come amidst questions raised by some quarters of the society demanding an explanation as to why the government opted for foreign auditors to execute the job at the expense of local auditing firms.
In an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana), the Auditor General, Stevenson Kamphasa justified the move saying the country did not have funds to engage local auditors to screen the system as one way of identifying its loopholes.
“We could have hired our own auditors to look into the system but we considered that the Malawi government did not have funds to pay for their services.
“As such we resorted to hiring the British consultants to do the work because their expenses were paid for by the British government,” said Kamphasa.
Kamphasa further said the screening of the system required skilled Information Technology (IT) Auditors who could trail the system and consider its weaknesses.
“As a country, we have a few skilled IT auditors, however, the cash gate issue was huge and that the IFMS system that people manipulated to siphon public finances required thorough trailing to unveil all the loopholes hence the engagement of the foreign auditing firm,” said the Auditor General.
Government, through the national audit office, hired Baker Tilly auditing firm which unveiled that close to K13 billion has been plundered since 2012.