Auditor general tells public entities to clear accounts by mid-FebruaryThe Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has asked the public enterprises that have their accounts unaudited for years to complete the task by mid-February next year.
The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has asked the public enterprises that have their accounts unaudited for years to complete the task by mid-February next year.
As per the Annual Performance Review of the Public Enterprises-2018 published by the Finance Ministry, auditing of as many as 25 of the 35 public enterprises has not been on time.
According to the Finance Ministry, 15 public enterprises have not completed auditing for more than a year while 10 have one year of auditing to be done. Nepal Orind Magnesite Pvt Ltd, Nepal Food Corporation, National Productivity and Economic Development Centre Ltd, Rastriya Beema Corporation and Rastriya Beema Company Ltd have not cleared their audit for more than five years.
The Audit Act-1991 holds the OAG responsible for the auditing of the public enterprises where the government has 100 percent shares. In case of the enterprises where the government doesn’t hold 100 percent shares, the OAG recommends the auditor.
According to the OAG, the transactions of the Nepal Orind Magnesite and National Productivity and Economic Development Center have not been audited since the fiscal year 2007-08.
According to the Audit Act, the concerned entities have to provide financial details to the auditor appointed by the OAG for the audit.
At a time when the amount of unaccounted expenditures has been growing, the status of government entities that have failed to get their transactions audited has not been clear, according to the OAG.
“I held a meeting with the chief executives, board members and top officials of the public enterprises failing to get their transactions audited timely for 62 times last year but the progress continued to remain poor,” Auditor General Tankamani Sharma told the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Friday. “I have told them to complete the auditing of all the remaining years by mid-February 2019.”
Although the OAG sent reminders repeatedly to the Rastriya Beema Sansthan to report its transactions of four years, to Rastriya Beema Company for seven years, Nepal Water Supply Corporation for four years and Nepal Food Corporation for six years, they failed to get their accounts audited, according to the 55th annual report of the OAG.
Besides public enterprises, many other institutions that get public funding have also failed to get their transactions audited. For example, Tribhuvan University has the poorest record of getting its transactions audited, according to the OAG. A total of 273 units under the TU have not got their transactions audited since the fiscal year 1976-77.
According to Sharma, auditing has not been possible in some of the government institutions due to the absence of necessary documents. According to the OAG report, there has not been auditing of pension fund plan since 2005-06. In case of Nepal Tourism Board, it failed to get its transactions of the fiscal year 2016-17 audited citing that the details of financial transactions amounting to Rs122.8 million were lost, according to the report.