The General Auditing Commission’s (GAC) attention has been drawn to some government ministries, agencies and state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) who have of recent times expressed their desires to hire external auditing firms to conduct assurance services for them. The GAC wishes to inform those entities concerned and the general public that the Commission is the only statutory entity constitutionally empowered to audit all government institutions including autonomous agency and SOEs relative to their operational and financial transactions.
Chapter 53 of the Executive Law of 1972, amended in 2005; the Public Financial Management Act of 2009 and its promulgated regulations solely empowered the Auditor General to audit the accounts of all government entities including State-Owned Enterprises. The Auditor General shall be the officer of the government principally responsible for conducting comprehensive post audits, special financial investigations, reconciliation and analyses, and continuous audits on a routine basis. Excepts of Chapter 53 of the Executive Law of 1972 with respect to the mandate of the Auditor General read thus:
(a) Once a year perform audits of all government agencies and Government organizations and examine, to the extent he deems necessary, all transactions and accounts relating to the receipt, disbursement, and utilization of the public monies;
(b) Perform audits of all property accounts and transactions of all Government agencies and government organizations; such audits shall be conducted as far as practicable at the place or places where the property and records are located and shall include an evaluation of the effectiveness of internal control and other methods of safeguarding the assets of the government
Only the GAC has the authority to hire third party auditing firms to conduct audits of all government ministries, agencies, state owned enterprises, government transactions and entities government as equity interest. These audits have to be performed under the supervision of the Auditor General whose audit reports can be tabled at the National Legislature. Audit perform by any third party auditing firm outside of the legal framework will not stand as a charge to the consolidated account or the SOE’s account, the responsible party will restitute the amount in question. The GAC hereby advises all government entities, including SOEs, to take note and act accordingly.