All Information from the Auditor General Office is Current

 

Auditor GeneralCriticisms of the Auditor Generals Office by the Public Accounts Committee in 2012 has spurred the PNG Audit Office to improve its service delivery in two years, under the leadership of the Auditor General Mr Philip Nauga.

 

Speaking to his staff in his Christmas address, Mr Nauga said that in 2012, the year he was appointed, PAC released a scathing criticism on the office for failing in its constitutional duties to provide the PAC and other stakeholders with Audit reports of Government and State bodies that were up to date. The criticism was based on the fact that in 2012, the Audit Office could only provide reports for 2009.

 

Mr Nauga said that now in 2014, all their reports provided to the PAC are now current. This incredible change he attributed to the dedication of his officers and new initiatives that were implemented since his appointment.

Under the requirements of the Constitution, the Auditor General conducts audits, evaluations and investigations to assess the economy, efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of public resources entrusted to public sector agencies and entities and their programs. The Auditor General reports the outcomes to the Parliament of the audits, at which point and in the normal course of events, these reports are referred to the Public Accounts Committee. Where appropriate the PAC conducts a hearing into matters raised and the Auditor General along with others are called upon to assist with the inquiries.

 

In 2012, the PAC felt handicapped by the lack of current audit reports available for it to execute its important function. As a result, the Auditor General was heavily criticized.

In a proactive response, the Auditor General embarked on an ambitious program to bring as many outstanding and current audits to completion. He also sought to improve the systems, procedures and policies needed to ensure that the PAC and other stakeholders will always get reports that are up to date.

 

Since 2012, the PNG Audit Office has completed a large number of audits and special reports including;

1. Civil Aviation Development Investment Program (CADIP)
2. Cocoa Pod Borer Project.
3. Cocoa Quality Promotion Project.
4. Japanese Fund for Poverty Reduction Project.
5. Lae Port Development Project.
6. National Agriculture Research Institute/PNG Incentive Fund Project.
7. National Capital District Commission Urban Youth Employment Project.
8. Port Moresby Sewerage System Upgrading Project (POMSSUP).
9. Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project.
10. The Effectiveness of Solid Waste Management in Papua New Guinea
11. Access to Safe Drinking Water in the National Capital District
12. District Services Improvement Program
13. Management and Reporting of Trust Accounts
14. Review of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) Projects.

 

Mr Nauga said they have developed new policies to make sure that the office delivers information that is current.

This includes a policy to do audits regardless of whether or not the organisations have produced their financial statements for the period.

“ In 2015, our officers will be doing more audits regardless whether the Financial Statements of the organization are available or not. This will change perceptions of PAC and other stakeholders as they will get audits that are current. This process will also assist organisations improve their internal financial systems and helps the Audit Office become an integral part of their audit process.”

 

Other changes that the audit office has implemented internally to improve delivery to stakeholders include;

1. Automated System for Audit Process: With technical assistance from the Australian National Audit Office, the Auditor General has implemented a centralized information system to assist auditors through the creation of a central database, with user interface that the auditors can utilize to feed data and get real time feedback inline with the organisations auditing standards. This system is in its pilot stage of testing and once complete, it will help better monitor and control audit planning and implementation within the organization. The system is known as TEAMMATE project.

2. New Audit Planning Process: The audit office has introduced a streamline and more effective audit planning process, designed to enable officers to set realistic and practical audit objectives, determine their critical paths and schedule their audits effectively.  A tremendous amount of assessment was executed for the purpose of the developing the best audit planning process so that at the end of each audit cycle, stakeholders get a document that is comprehensive, detailed and complete.

3. Introduction of Performance Audit: The Auditor General has introduced Performance Audits to its duties, which has meant the added challenge to increase its knowledge and skills to undertake such audits. Performance auditing has given the Audit General the ability to create impact oriented reports. Performance audits recently completed include the Review of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) Project, Access to Safe Drinking Water in the National Capital District and Management and Reporting of Trust Accounts. Mr Nauga said these type of reports improved the reputation of the Audit General Office.

4. Standardized Annual Reports: The Auditor General introduced in 2013 Annual Report Standards or Guidelines for the organization to abide by.  The standards allow the organization to create uniformity and consistency in its reporting standards.

 

The Auditor General said the dedicated performance of the Audit officers from 2012 onwards has led to many positive changes to improve service delivery in the country, citing the development the District Development Authority as one of these changes that came about because of the Auditor General’s Audit report on the District Services Improvement Program.

 

Mr Nauga said: “ The Auditor Generals Office will never give information that is out of date again. In 2012, our reports were for 2009, these were out of date. In 2014, our reports are for 2013, for Provincial Bodies, State Bodies and National Departments are current. I want to thank all the staff of the Audit office. Your contribution has made it possible.

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