The statement by the Auditor General in regards to the errors in the 2016 Auditor General’s Report is alarming and of serious concern. The statement brings about suspicion on the independence, competency and integrity of the 2016 Auditor Generals Report.
The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum demands the Auditor General to clarify to the public the delay in regularising the error after more than a month of the reports being highlighted in the media. This is of grave concern which taints the credibility of the whole report. Regrettably more speculation on the competence of the Auditor General is now being raised that brings disrepute to the institution.
The Auditor General’s Report will remain critical to the nation now that we have a democratically elected government after nearly eight years of military backed government. The citizens have the right to be provided with timely and accurate information about how public spending and management of taxpayers money are utilised by any ruling government. Fiji has been poorly ranked in the International Budget Survey nd this report with further hinder the country’s chances of improving its ranking in the open budget survey.
However, for the Auditor General to highlight that the audit processes were archaic really begs the question of credibility of the previous Audit Reports. The voters need to demand for a stronger, transparent and accountable governance in order to advocate sound financial management of the State.
CCF also demands for an independent oversight commission to be established acting in the public interest, that provides oversight over the quality and implementation of auditing, independence, and ethical standards used and to require auditors to be subject to the discipline of an auditor oversight body that is independent of the audit profession.