Auditor General ready for forensic audit

The National Audit Office is developing Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the British firm which will carry out a forensic audit of the government financial system.

Auditor General Steven Kamphasa disclosed this when he and the Accountant General appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to explain how billions of taxpayers’ money have been pilfered on their watch.

Britain has accepted a request from the Malawi Government to assist in carrying out a forensic audit which would comprehensively trace how government lost money with the view to prosecute all those involved in the cash-gate scandal.

Kamphasa said: “The British Government has responded, we are in contact with them. Currently, we are working on   ToRs because everything has to be done according to procedure. We would want external people to come in but the exercise will fall under the Auditor General’s office because this is constitutionally required.”

He disclosed that a forensic audit was a complex exercise which would trace movements of money from the beginning to the end and could not be done without thorough preparations.

The exercise would in the end isolate illegal financial dealings according to categories such as money laundering and corruption, but only after “undergoing a test of the law”,” said Kamphasa.

The Accountant General disclosed at the same meeting that the Ifmis will continue to be used for government financial operations until June 2014 and would only be abandoned if control measures do not work.

He told the committee that the shutting down of Ifmis from October 1 and October 31 2013 was a temporary measure and it would resume once shortfalls are corrected.

“If we find that the system remains porous between November 1 2013 to June 30 2014, then it will be replaced,” said Kandoje.

He said currently, all government financial transactions are being carried out manually.

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