Better control

Permanent Secretary for Economy, Makereta Konrote and Pankaj Singh Head of Treasury at the Ministry of Economy responds to the Public Accounts Committee yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

THERE is a need for increasing resources in government ministries to better equip their internal audit departments.

This was one of the suggestions from Standing Committee on Public Accounts member Aseri Radrodro to the Ministry of Economy yesterday.

The Ministry of Economy made a presentation to the committee on the 2016 audit report on the Government by the Office of the Auditor General. Ministry of Economy permanent secretary Makereta Konrote said the ministry had carried out a review of its internal audit division in its bid to strengthen the department.

Ms Konrote acknowledged the need to improve control within the government departments. However she said the ministry did not have the authority or mandate to discipline any ministry for not complying with the audit processes.

The Ministry of Economy’s head of treasury Pankaj Singh said they had carried out training for other ministry staff members and they had seen the ministries hire additional staff members to rectify the backlog of audit processes.

Meanwhile Ms Konrote said they had seen some improvement in terms of compliance with some ministries. She said a monitoring and evaluation unit had been established to focus on strengthening and observing evaluation across government agencies.

“So the unit takes in and analyses reconciliation issues and then discusses any significant issues that arise out of the reconciliations and these are done with the ministries and departments concerned.”

Ms Konrote said the unit would ensure there’s regular monitoring of the reconciliation — an accounting process that uses two sets of records to ensure figures are correct and in agreement.