Qualified audit reports to end, says PS Kolitagane

Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary David Kolitagane makes his submissions to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the Office of the Auditor-General's (OAG) audit report on the ministry's accounts for 2016. Picture: ATU RASEA

Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary David Kolitagane makes his submissions to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the Office of the Auditor-General's (OAG) audit report on the ministry's accounts for 2016. Picture: ATU RASEA

WE are working towards having an unqualified, clean audit report for the next audit cycle for the 2017/2018 financial year.

Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary David Kolitagane made these comments in his submissions to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the Office of the Auditor-General’s (OAG) audit report on the ministry’s accounts for 2016 which had two qualifying issues.

“The ministry has exerted much effort to resolve all the recurring audit issues that have led to the qualification of our financial reports,” he said.

Mr Kolitagane said the ministry’s commitment to this was shown by the reduction in the number of qualifying issues from the ministry’s 2014 to 2016 audited financial statements.

“In 2014 there were five qualifying issues, 2015 there were four issues and in 2016 there were only two qualifying issues,” Mr Kolitagane said.

“We are already addressing reconciliation issues and putting in place proper processes to directly address these issues.”

He told the PAC chairman Mohammed Dean, who had raised the matter of the two qualifications earlier, that they were working closely with their internal audit team and had sought the support of the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Economy.

He told PAC members that they would continue to engage with the Ministry of Economy and the OAG to improve compliance with the Financial Regulations.

“And in finetuning systems and processes to improve effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of its core services,” he said.

He told this newspaper after his submissions that all the qualification issues were directly caused by procedures and processes not being followed and that was what he hoped to achieve for the ministry to end the trend of qualified audit reports.

The PAC was chaired by Government MP Mr Dean with Opposition members Aseri Radrodro and Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, with reps from the OAG and Ministry of Economy also present.

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