Calls for National Audit Office to be independent as Malawi govt deploy auditors to embassies

Malawi government has been advised to ensure that there are regular and timely audit in all its departments  as required by the Public Audit Act  and that National Audit Office (NAO) should be independent.

Stephenson Kamphasa, the Auditor General
Stephenson Kamphasa, the Auditor General

The advise is contained in an editorial comment of The Nation daily newspaper on Wednesday Novemebr 30, 2016.

The daily comments on a report it carried that the NAO has deployed about 30 auditors  to 10 of Malawi’s 19  foreign missions following allegations of fraud and maladministration of finances in embassies.

It noted that the laxity in checking the adhereance to system in the management of public funds has coust the country dearly, citing Cashgate, the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill – the seat of government – as a big lesson learnt of financial melfeaces.

“To ensure prudence and regular audits, we plead for the independence of National Audit Office (NAO), Such independence should include its financing model that should be protected by law to ensure that no sitting government deliberately suffocates the organisation by denying it funding to undertake its oversight role in tracking public funds and ensuring that systems are adhered to,” reads the editorial comment.

The paper also faults Central Internal Audit  in the Ministry of Finance which is supposed to act as an  internal auditor for the government ministries, departments and agencies, saying the unit has been “reactionary.”

“We put it that if the internal audit function was strongm surely, Cashgate could have been avoided as the same loopholes could have been identified earlier and acted upon,” the comment reads.

Meanwhile, the paper’s  lead story quotes  NAO spokesperson Rabson Kagwamminga saying  they will  be carrying out normal audits in 10 different foreign missions of the Republic of Malawi.

“ Ten different teams comprising a maximum of three and a minimum of two auditors have been formulated,” he said.

Kagwamminga disclosed that “depending on the outcome of each stage of the work on the ground, further investigative audit procedures may become inevitable; hence, the possibilities of going beyond the planned timeframe.”

The audits are already underway at embassies in China, Egypt, United Arab Emirates of Dubai and Tanzania.

Currently, Malawi has its foreign missions  in United States of America, United Kingdom,  Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia and African Union Commission, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, United Nations in New York,  Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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Ineyo Kumene
Ineyo Kumene
5 years ago

Audit ikufunika kuma District ndi ma City Council nako uku. Heavy Cashgate is now done at Local Government level masterminded by the Executive Branch. Selected councils are financing DPP through the line Minister. Musazati sindinanene!

Nyero Phwii
Nyero Phwii
5 years ago

The govt think it is doing enough in curbing fraud and corruption. Nje. The National Audit Office has been sidelined throughout, The origin of cash gate is this:-In 2005, the Accountant General Introduced IFMIS, if the auditor general was given enough monies, he would have bought CAATS to audit the IFMIS, but nje, now all the guys knew and know that no auditor from the NAO will follow the IFMIS, hence cash gate. I am saying this as one of the auditors. bet you me the govt is not doing enough for the entity which monitors its budget.

5 years ago

Good move komanso asamakhalitse. There are many civil servants who can also work abroad, they shud give chances to others. Akakhalitsa ndi zimenezo.

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