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State audit

Geraldine Panapasa
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THE release of the 2006-2012 audited financial and appropriation statements of government on the Ministry of Finance website has received mixed reactions from political parties.

Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Ro Teimumu Kepa welcomed the release of the financial statements and said it was a positive move that would allow interested parties to scrutinise and comment on the state of State finances.

Ro Teimumu said they were trying to determine whether the release of the financial statements on the Ministry of Finance website was the official release or the work of a whistleblower.

"The fact that it has been released is welcomed. People are entitled to be told about this reversal of its position. SODELPA is happy that it has been released," she said in a statement yesterday.

She said Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had indicated those documents would be released during the sitting of the new parliament.

However, National Federation Party general secretary Kamal Iyer said the financial statements proved a lack of accountability and transparency in the management of the finances of the State.

"The audit was restricted to the financial and appropriation statements only and did not contain reports that represented a comprehensive audit of all government ministries and statutory organisations."

Acting Auditor-General Atunaisa Nadakuitavuki said there were two sets of reports signed off by the Auditor-General, one for a government ministry and another for the whole of government.

"We do that every year (provide an audit report), which the different ministries put in their annual report.

"If those reports are from the ministry's website then they've made it public," he told this newspaper.

As per the requirements of the States Services Decree 2009, Mr Nadakuitavuki said a copy of the audit accounts was also given to the Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance.

"This is then tabled in Cabinet and passed to the Public Accounts Committee to deliberate on the findings. However, we don't have a Public Accounts Committee so this goes straight to Cabinet."

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