Tuesday, 11 November 2008 8:13 AM

PAC Conducts Inquiry into Reports

The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today has concluded an inquiry into a number of audit reports released by the Office of the Auditor General.

The Committee has started its inquiry on Thursday 6th.

The Reports included:

.Status of the Audits of Solomon Islands Government Entities as at 30 June 2008
.Status of Audits of Solomon Islands Government Entities as at 30 June 2007
.An Auditor-General's Insights into Corruption in Solomon Islands Government

The Committee which is chaired by Hon Francis Zama has considered the Reports as part of its function prescribed under Standing Orders of the National Parliament.

Under Standing Order 69 (1) (a), the Committee has the mandate to examine audited accounts stipulated in section 33 of the Public Finance and Audit Act (accounts of the Solomon Islands Government) and the reports of the OAG on such accounts.

The Reports, particularly the recent Status of Audits of Solomon Islands Government Entities as at 30 June 2008 has been the subject of intense media comment since it was tabled in Parliament and made public.

A number of issues which were identified in the Reports are:
.Ministers and public Officials acting outside authority or acting without the appropriate authority;
.Widespread non-compliance with the guiding legislation, financial instructions and general orders;
.Serious breakdowns in financial management and accounting systems and procedural controls;
.General lack of adequate and proper records maintenance;
.Officials using positions of influence to assist associates to receive benefits;
.Millions of dollars of revenue lost;
.Conflicts of interest not declared;
.Proliferation of unauthorized Government accounts and financial transactions occurring outside of authorized process;
.Serious shortcomings around asset management and procurement.

During the process, the Committee heard from Mrs. Ruth Liloqula, Secretary to Cabinet, Mr. Jeremiah Manele, Secretary to Prime Minister, Mr. Shadrach Fanega for the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and Mr. Ishmael Avui, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Public Service to hear their views on the systematic problems that were identified in the Audit Reports before commencing investigation into other Ministries that were identified in the Audit Reports.

Source: Press Release (GCU)