National Audit Office (NAO) will conduct audits at the country’s foreign missions and pre-audits of pensions and gratuities to increase audit coverage from the current 40 to 100 percent in the next three years.
The NAO 2015-2019 strategic plan launched on Monday in Lilongwe indicates that regular audits on government ministries and donor funded projects would increase the confidence of stakeholders in the government financial management systems.
The Auditor General (AG) has come under fire for submitting outdated reports which are no longer relevant for scrutiny by Parliament and, as a result, no public servant is taken to task for the loss or mismanagement of funds.
To change its image, NAO has outlined a number of audit activities, among them, the ongoing public debt audit, audits of embassies, local councils and pre-audits of pensions and gratuities.
According to the strategic plan, NAO plans to audit at least five embassies and carry out pre-audit of at least 6 000 pensions and gratuity files every year.
However, the institution fears that financial constraints, delays in vetting process and lack of commitment from staff could derail NAO from fulfilling its strategic plans.
AG Stephenson Kamphasa said the previous strategic plan, which ran from 2009 to 2013, resulted in enhanced audit methodologies and development of manuals which would assist his office in carrying out new audits.
He said, so far, two reports among them the Cashgate which details mismanagement of funds from April to September 2013, has been presented to Parliament and discussed by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Speaking at the launch of the audit, a representative of the Chief Secretary to the Government, Rex Chiluzi, said timely and reliable audit information was crucial for government to implement an effective financial management system.