Auditor General (AG) Stephen Kamphasa says he has sought legal advice from the Attorney General on whether to release names and companies named in the forensic audit that established that about K236 billion in public funds could not be reconciliated between 2009 and December 31 2014.
Kamphasa said there was some“legal implications” on the release of the names hence the decision to consult Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale for legal opinion.
The government was expected to release the names and companies on Tuesday.
The audit was conducted by British firm RSM Risk Insurance LLP.
The Auditor General has not however indicated when he will get the response.
President of the Malawi Law Society of Malawi John Suzi Banda has backed the Auditor General on his decision to delay the release of the names until a legal advice is sought.
“He indeed needs to seek the legal opinion to ensure that all legal implications are cleared. He should hold on to the names until he is advised,” Banda said.
He said rushing in releasing the names might have prosecution implications.
“Our focus should not be on the release of the names, we should not be excited with the release of the names but successful prosecution of those involved therefore the auditor general needs to be cautious,” said John Suzi Banda.
He however urged the Attorney General to give the legal advice in a transparent manner to clear suspicion.
According to the report, the audit found that K83.5 billion of the K236 billion which could not be accounted for was paid to 44 companies from the sample of 50 that the auditors selected to analyse.
The audit also found that billions were lost in overpayment of goods and services, duplicate payments and overpayment on shipping to wrong locations.
Initially, the amount suspected to have not been accounted for was pegged at K577 billion, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) data analysis released in May 2015.
However, the forensic audit established, through its testing of the system and controls, that the unreconciled funds could be in the region of K236 billion.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :