The National Audit Office (NAO) says it has opened investigations to establish the facts behind the preliminary audit into the government central payment system which may have led to the loss of K92 billion.
The findings into the report covering the period 2009 and part of 2012 have been contentious because they revealed that Cashgate started taking place many years ago, but no action was taken.
In the report’s preliminary findings, payments amounting to K12 billion were made outside the Central Payment System (CPS), payment vouchers for K57 billion were not produced for audit, payments worth K3.6 billion were not supported with liquidation documents while K5.7 billion was lost through payments to suppliers for goods without evidence of delivery.
Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday that his office alongside audit firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) had included the K92 billion investigations into the forensic audit covering 2009 to 2013.
He said: “The 2009 to 2013 forensic audit is currently underway and the K92 billion preliminary findings fall within the period in which the forensic audit is being carried out, of the Central Payment System.”
However, PAC suggested that the K92 billion contained audit queries, which needed further investigations; hence, should cover all ministries and government departments.
But Kamphasa said the funding from the German government for the new forensic audit did not cover 2005 to 2009 financial years and efforts were being made to look for donors to finance the audit.
The Auditor General also officially presented the forensic audit report to the committee for the period April 2013 to September 2013, but cautioned members that law enforcement agencies were still conducting further investigations following his submission of case files.
“What matters now is whether the lapses were merely a result of internal controls then look into how to sort that out, those responsible must be taken to book so that people should understand this is public money and must be used for its intended purpose,” Kamphasa said.
He also spoke of the challenges that the auditors met during the forensic audit , including lack of cooperation from commercial banks to hand over extracts of bank statements, cheque images, deposit and withdrawal slips.
According to the final forensic audit report, September, 2014, Cashgate and payments without supply of goods amounted to K15 billion, expenditures without supporting documents or overpayment amounted to K4.8 billion while the auditors could not find evidence for payments made to foreign companies totaling K3.9 billion.