Delay causes concern

PUBLIC Accounts Committee chairperson Ashneel Sudakhar showed great concern for the delays in submission of accounts of the provinces by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs on Thursday.

“Can you update us on what’s the progress like so far,” Mr Sudakhar said.

Minstry of iTaukei Affairs permanent secretary Naipote Katonitabua said regarding the backlog of the accounts they were trying their level best to complete the audit of the accounts for the board and also for the 14 provincial councils.

“Very briefly, by 2019 we should be able to get on line in terms of real time on both the TAB and the provincial councils’ audit reports,” Mr Katonitabua said.

Acting deputy CEO of iTaukei Affairs board Josefa Toganivalu said before 2014, the some of the accounts outstanding were for 1999 to 2001.

“The total number of annual accounts to be audited in 2014 was 224.

“We have submitted 89 accounts and are left with 135,” he said.

Director corporate services Sereana Matakibau said for the 135 accounts they had set a target to be achieved.

“And in 2017 we had said that a task force had been set up to focus on the completion of provincial council annual accounts,” she said.

“Our target is to submit 135 accounts and from 2008 to 2013 and for all the provinces including the board we have 90 annual accounts to submit by 31 July 2018.

“From the 90, 41 accounts are already drafted and we have not submitted them as we are waiting for the Auditor-General to complete the audit of the submitted accounts after 2007 so that we can finalise the 2008 balance and move on from there,” Ms Matakibau said.

“From August to December 2018 we are targeting to submit the accounts for 2014 to 2016 which is a total of 45 annual accounts.”

She said they would roll out a new system to integrate reporting of all the provinces in August 2018.

“Datec, the approved supplier is now working on the development of the software.”

Ms Matakibau said they had also managed to recruit qualified accountants and also instigated training for the provincial staff that would help in the preparation of the annual accounts.

The ministry was presenting to PAC on the Auditor-General’s Report on the iTaukei Affairs Board for 2016.

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