The National Audit Office (NAO) has come under attack from unknown people who broke into three offices on Wednesday night and went away with three computers.
However, NAO officials yesterday said all important information pertaining to ongoing audits has been backed up on external servers.
NAO’s mandate is to audit public institutions, district councils and examine accounts of controlling officers and any institution which collects revenue on behalf of government.
Currently, NAO is carrying out some high-profile audits where billions have been lost through dubious means.
NAO has also been working alongside Baker Tilly, a British audit firm carrying out a forensic audit covering April to September 2013 which found that K13 billion was stolen through ‘Cashgate’.
NAO public relations officer Thomas Chafunya and Malawi Police Service (MPS) confirmed the break-in and that one computer was taken from the office of new deputy auditor general Langton Gomani, another from his secretary and yet another discovered later from an assistant auditor general’s office.
Chafunya said they suspected the robbers came through a window in Gomani’s office which had part of the burglar bar removed apparently to enable entry of a grown-up person.
NAO is headquartered at City Centre within a short distance from the Reserve Bank of Malawi and close to the Nature Sanctuary Police Post, but this is the second break-in of such magnitude in the location.
Chafunya said if the attackers were looking for information to disrupt any audits, they would not find it on the computers which have been stolen.
In early 2012, the office was also ransacked after NAO instituted another high-profile audit and the Accountant General’s office, with losses of over K400 million (US$982 801) at the time.
Last week, Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa tabled before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the just dissolved Parliament a 2012 investigative audit into the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis), government’s electronic central payment system, which found that K92 billion was lost from government accounts.