The Office of the Auditor General, OAG, has revealed that $182.3 Million of Solomon Islands Government grants to Provincial Governments over the past fifteen (15) years have not been audited.According to the OAG's latest report of June 2008, since their establishment, the provincial governments either never commenced, or ceased to produce, annual financial statements for presentation to the OAG for audit or to report to their respective Provincial Assemblies.
"This meant a large amount of public funds had been expended for which there was no accountability," the OAG Report says.
The reports said that during those fifteen years only $40.6 Million representing only (18%) of the SIG grants to the country's nine provinces had been audited during those fifteen years.
The report says that Makira, Choiseul, and Temotu have not produced one single audited accounts during that fifteen year period.
The report however says that Choiseul Province has however demonstrated at the time of the audit that it has been producing regular annual reports at least since 1994 until 2003. However there are no records of them having been received by the OAG.
Of the other provinces, the last audited financial year for Western Province was 1997, Malaita 1995, Guadalcanal 2001, Isabel and Central 2003, and Renbel 2005.
Since the arrival of RAMSI it has established the Provincial Governance Strengthening Program (PGSP) in collaboration with UNDP to strengthen public accountability and governance within the provinces.
The report has however said that before the PGSP could start effectively, it was necessary to build up capacity to properly manage and account for provincial finances.
It says that previous reviews found that all provincial financial management systems disclosed a general lack of capacity to record or manage government grants received.