Fec Approves Presidential Initiative On Continuous Audit Of Mdas

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, March 09, (THEWILL) – A Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, to strengthen controls of Federal Government expenditures to enhance transparency has been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The new initiative will enable a strengthened internal audit easy access to continuously audit, not just the payroll but general expenditures, including Contracts and Pensions of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) etc. without notice.

FEC approved the setting up of the initiative with an executive order to create internal audit to allow government extend the audit system to everywhere that federal money is being spent or received for better oversight.

Explaining the initiative, Adeosun said government felt that the “continuous audit work should not just be limited to payroll, there is actually need to strengthen internal audit across government.”

She said the World Bank had indicated its readiness to support the initiative, but recognised that it would take six months to get the required legislation done.

“If we don't strengthen our controls then there is a risk that monies would leak or may be applied to the wrong things,” Kemi Adeosun, Finance Minister revealed after the meeting.

“Therefore, we must have the ability to go into various agencies without notice and check and do audits and updates to make sure that public money is being spent in accordance with our expectations and objectives.”

“So, as an interim we have agreed to do the Presidential initiative on continuous audits, which will give backings to the work that we are currently doing and will allow us to extend this work beyond payroll to other areas of expenditure.

“FEC deliberated extensively about the need for this and agreed that the control framework over finance and spending of government’s money needed to be strengthened, especially in anticipation of the approval of the budget, which is an extended budget.”

Adeosun also revealed that the government had commenced the second phase of the payroll cleansing of another potential 11,000 ghost workers.

The first phase of the payroll audit had revealed the existence of 23,000 ghost workers, saving the country about N2.29 billion after they were removed.

She said though there existed internal audit offices, there were issues relating to the staff auditing, those they actually report to and the lack of adequate technological techniques to handle current auditing software.

She however added that no new staff would be recruited for the job but existing qualified accountants from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and within the civil service would be redeployed for this function.

Story by David Oputah