Modified audit opinion explained

MSAF CEO John Tunidau (right) Picture: FT FILE

PUBLIC Accounts Committee (PAC) deputy chairman Mohammed Dean this morning asked the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) to clarify the issue of the modified audit opinion issued to Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) in 2015.

“We’ve had other responses but the OAG had said they didn’t recognise the treatment of Government grant as it deviated from standard accounting practices. Please explain,” Mr Dean said.

OAG director of audit Dineshwar Prasad said the issue related to two circulars issued by Ministry of Public Enterprises in 2012 and 2016 regarding the treatment of Government grants.

“The 2012 circular required the grant to be recorded as capital contribution and this Government directive conflicted with the International Accounting Standards. While the audit report is based on international accounting standards the treatment of the grant deviated from this and that was why the OAG had qualified the audits,” Mr Prasad said.

He said the entities changed their accounts to reflect the grant as revenue as per the second circular issued in 2016 which was why the audit opinion was modified.

The MSAF team was made up of CEO John Tunidau and manager finance Navin Kamlesh.