Source: Gorethy Kenneth | Post Courier, February 2, 2024.
Head of Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) Gordon Kega said there are challenges in conducting audits of the provincial and district, including LLG Service Improvement (SIP), due to insufficient funding and remoteness of these areas.
“While audits have been carried out for the 49 Districts Services Improvements Program (DSIP) and Provincial Service Improvement Program (PSIP) district for the periods 2008-2013, audits of rural LLGS have been deemed uneconomical, Mr Kega said.
Of the more than 300 LLSIP entities across PNG, 31 are categorized as “Urban” LLGs, while the remaining are considered “Rural” LLGs.
The Auditors have prioritized audit of Urban LLGs due to their higher annual grant appropriation of K500,000.
However, audits of Rural LLGs have been hampered by insufficient budgetary allocations to the AGO coupled with the challenges posed by the remote locations.
“To deal with the increasing number of audits in arrears, AGO has contemplated outsourcing audits through a tendering process.
“While this may be a viable solution, both the AGO and the client agencies need to consider factors such as budgetary capacity to pay for the audits, “he said.
The outsourcing of audits has been a long-standing practice at the AGO, particularly for revenue/profit making entities,
Mr. Kega said the currency of audits, particularly the audits of PSIP and District Development Authority (DDA) districts, is a pressing concern for the public, especially Members of Parliament.
AGO is determined to bring the audits up to date but requires sufficient financial and manpower resources to do so.
AGO’s function is to audit the accountability of these funds with or without the submission of the Acquittals and report to the Parliament accordingly.