The Controller and Auditor General’s reports to Parliament from 2013 to 2016 have neither been forgotten nor have they been swept under the mat.
Although the reports have not been tabled in Parliament yet, Fuimaono Camillo Afele has assured that his Office has been working on them and they will be tabled before December.
Fuimaono, who is overseas, issued the assurance in response to questions from the Samoa Observer about reports.
“The audit report to Parliament for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 are currently being prepared and completed for submission to the new Parliament by December 2016 at the latest,” said Fuimaono.
“The audits and reports of Ministries and Public Bodies are updated first to 2015 before the audit reports to Parliament for the same period are prepared and completed.”
Fuimaono reminded that the Officers of Parliament Committee report on the audit reports to parliament for 2010 and 2011 came out in 2014.
The Chief Auditor added that the government’s response to the O.P.C. included corrective, remedial actions and explanations about some of the issues questioned. This response came out in 2014.
“Audit Office as per usual and standard audit practice followed up government’s response to O.P.C. report of corrective and remedial actions and explanations during financial and working year ended 30 June 2016 so an audit coverage on the follow up work will be included in the audit report to parliament for the year ended 30 June, 2016.”
Furthermore, Fuimaono explained that the Audit Report to Parliament for 2012 was with the Parliamentary processes from 2014 and during most of 2015 right up to election time.
“O.C.L.A. (the Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly) is to confirm whether there is an O.P.C. report on the 2012 report but the Audit Office has included in its annual plan/program for the year ending 30 June, 2017 the follow up of the 2012 Audit Report to Parliament and any O.P.C. report on it.”
According to the Audit Act 2013, Part V - Audit Reports;
40. Audit reports of public bodies-(1) The Controller and Auditor General must, in each year, prepare and submit to the Speaker an audit report of any audit of public bodies, related entities or audited subsidiaries of public bodies conducted under this Act or any Act or law.
(2) The Controller may include in the audit report under subsection (1): (a) a list of public bodies, related entities or subsidiaries of public bodies that are not audited by the Controller for that particular year; and (b) any deficiency or function that is not properly performed under generally accepted accounting principles and practices which the Controller considers to be significant; and (c) any significant change in the Controller’s auditing approach from the previous year’s audit.
(3) The Controller must: (a) notify the Prime Minister and the relevant Minister responsible of the contents of the audit report; and (b) invite the public body, related entity or subsidiary, statutory or local authority or other body to whom the audit report relates to make submissions or comments on the content of the audit report before a specified date; and (c) within sixty days from the date to be specified in paragraph (b), forward the audit report with any comment received to the Speaker who must present it to the Legislative Assembly under section 42.
During the previous Parliamentary sitting, there was much debate over the Officers of Parliament Committee report into the Controller and Chief Auditor’s Report for 2009 to 2011.
The reports highlighted alleged corruption and collusion among public servants to defraud public funds in some of the government’s ministries.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has repeatedly downplayed the reports, saying remedial actions have been taken to ensure the issues identified will not happen again.