The Auditor General is a constitutional appointee who is independent of the executive and the legislature. Headed by the Auditor General, the Office performs the external audit function of public funds and reports to the National Assembly. The Office of the Auditor General plays a vital role in ensuring the accountability of public funds.
The Auditor General is mandated to audit the accounts of the Cabinet office, the National Assembly, all government departments and offices, all courts and those related to moneys withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund, all the accounts of any statutory corporation or such other body as may be specified by or under an Act. He certifies the accounts of government and has the constitutional responsibility of drawing the attention of the National Assembly to irregularities in the accounts audited and to any other matter which in his opinion ought to be brought to the notice of the Assembly. The Auditor General is appointed by the President from candidates proposed by the Constitutional Appointments Authority and is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority in the performance of the functions of his office (Article 158 of the Constitution). Also refer to Public Finances Act and Audit Act for further information.
The OAG is committed to ensure that the highest degree of accountability, transparency and honesty is attained in government operations and that public resources are properly used and managed.
To provide an integrated professional audit service to the National Assembly, the government and the taxpayer. To add value to the government financial reporting and provide independent assurance, information and advice.
Organisation and functions the Office
Administration and support services (Director Administration, Mrs Patricia Khan)
Responsible for personal Management, Financial Control and general administration of the Office, and provide support services.
Responsible for auditing the accounts of the Cabinet office, the National Assembly, all government departments and offices, all courts and those related to moneys withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund, all the accounts of any statutory corporation or such other body as may be specified by or under an Act, as required by Article 158 of the Constitution.
Responsible for reporting to the National Assembly within twelve months of the end of the immediately preceding financial year on significant matters arising from the audit of public accounts.
Responsible for auditing the annual financial Statements of the government as per the Audit Act, and various accounting entities, funded-projects and programmes for which the Auditor General is the appointed auditor.
Responsible for issuance of management letters (audit inspection reports) to Accounting Officers providing details of matters arising from audit work undertaken in their respective entities.
Responsible for annual programming of audits and overall direction, supervision and monitoring of audit work in progress.
Provide appropriate advice on accounting/financial matters to public sector entities at their request.
Undertake value for money type of reviews covering issues such as IT from a wider perspective with a view to provide assurance, information and advice and promote good management practices.
Liase with international and regional associations of supreme audit institutions (SAIs) and audit offices in other countries for maintaining relationships conducive for exchange of ideas on developments in the field of public auditing.
Liase with and assist the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly in its deliberations of the matters arising from the annual report of the Auditor General.
How audit work is carried out
The OAG conducts independent audits of all government financial operations and provide objective information and assurance to the National Assembly to help ensure and promote accountability of public funds. It examines and certifies annual financial Statements of the Government. Financial Statement audits are also conducted for some statutory bodies where provisions exist in relevant Acts. Selected operations, projects and programmes of the government are examined comprehensively by way of special reviews. At request, the Department carries out comprehensive audits of certain development projects and programmes assisted by international financing agencies.
To achieve its objectives and discharge its responsibilities, the Department plans its work ahead. The audit cycle begins in April and ends in March the following year. All audits to be conducted within a cycle are identified and included in the annual audit programme. Excepting annual audits of financial Statements of the government and statutory bodies, other audits are selected on a materiality and risk basis. While some large revenue earning and expenditure incurring government agencies get audited every year, smaller ones are selected for auditing at less frequent intervals.
Audits included in the annual programme are allocated to audit teams with specific time frames for completion. Audit process requires detailed plans to be prepared and approved by the senior management before commencement of field work. Audit plans are kept under review during execution.
An audit is conducted to achieve set objectives. The audit of financial Statements, for example, seeks to gain assurances that reliance can be placed on the organisations accounting systems and controls, accounts and records and Statements have been prepared on a fair and consistent basis. Evidence is gathered through examination, testing and observation. Specialised computer software helps analyse accounting data, select transaction samples and evaluate results. All audit work is documented, indexed and filed. Quality assurance reviews are conducted at various stages by supervisors.
Results of audits are conveyed by way of reports and management letters. These include matters already discussed at an exit meeting but not resolved satisfactorily or any other matter requiring management attention. Chief Executives are the recipients of management letters and are requested to respond in writing within a given time frame. The annual report of the Auditor General to the National Assembly, as required by Article 158 (5) of the Constitution, is prepared on the basis of the results of government’s financial Statements audit and various audits of ministries and departments, including special reviews. Relevant Chief Executive’s written response to the audit findings are also included where applicable in the report to the National Assembly.