Hold on! The Auditor General (AG) yesterday shelved release of names of individuals and businesses identified in the recent forensic audit that established that about K236 billion in public funds could not be reconciliated between 2009 and December 31 2014.
The AG was scheduled to provide the list to Parliament through the Public Accounts requested that the Attorney General’s Chambers should first give a legal opinion on the matter.Committee (PAC), but his office.
Quoting PAC vice-chairperson Kamlepo Kalua yesterday, The Nation reported that details of the forensic audit, including names of the officials and companies, would be released. The audit was conducted by British firm RSM Risk Insurance LLP.
In Parliament, no legislator asked for the report.
PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani, after the House adjourned for the day’s business, confirmed that the National Audit Office (NAO) had pulled the plug on the intended release of names.
He said: “What is happening is that we have still been discussing with the Auditor General about how the committee will handle issues emanating from the report. So, today, during the course of our discussions, the Auditor General raised the issue that he was not sure whether the intended release of the names from some of the files which have been sent to investigating agencies such as ACB [Anti-Corruption Bureau] could be considered legal.
“He [AG]; hence, asked the committee that we should wait until he solicits a legal opinion from the Attorney General on the matter.”
Menyani said his committee was still determined to get and release the names of those named in the report and would soon summon the ACB to find out the status of the submitted files.
Both Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa and Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale could not be immediately reached for comment as we went to press.
Kalua had confirmed the agreement to release the names on Monday and described the report Kamphasa Staff Reporter took them through as development. shocking and an annoying
The planned move to release the names comes against the backdrop of similar demands in the previous Baker Tilly forensic audit report covering the period April to September 2013, which Parliament has not followed up after the full report with names was given to the members of Parliament (MPs) and case files presented to the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
In the recent case, the AG has come under pressure to provide Parliament with concrete details other than the report by RSM Risk Assurance LLP, which has been presented to the House, but only states that 50 case files have been submitted to criminal investigation bodies for action.
According to the report, the audit found that K83.5 billion of the K236 billion which could not be accounted for was paid to 44 companies from the sample of 50 that the auditors selected to analyse.
The audit also found that billions were lost in overpayment of goods and services, duplicate payments and overpayment on shipping to wrong locations.
Initially, the amount suspected to have not been accounted for was pegged at K577 billion, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) data analysis released in May 2015.
However, the forensic audit established, through its testing of the system and controls, that the unreconciled funds could be in the region of K236 billion.