SINPF General Manager speaking during the Auditor Generals consultation on the New Audit Act
THE Auditor General, Edward Ronia, announced the holding of a public meeting on Wednesday 16 October 2013 to discuss what should be included in a new Audit Act to authorize him to audit the collection and use of public finances.
The Auditor General said that the current legislation is now very dated, and no longer reflects current technologies and practices used for the management and audit of public finances.
“The Government has recently passed a new Public Financial Management Act 2013 to cover the management and reporting of public moneys, and we need to update the legislation on the audit of those reports.” Mr Ronia said.
The Auditor General said that he was most concerned to ensure that the new Act would recognise his Constitutional mandate to audit all public moneys; and that it would better secure his independence to do his job as the external auditor of the government.
The Auditor General said that this included more authority for him to manage his finances and employment of his staff.
“We do not want to go back to the dark days of the 1990’s when the Auditor General’s Office was reduced to two staff through lack of funds or recruitment of staff,” Mr Ronia said.
The Auditor General also expressed his concern that the government was starting to pass legislation that excluded him from being the external auditor.
“I am now aware of three new Acts which exclude me from being identified as the external auditor to the accounts.
“These are the Central Bank, the National Provident Fund and the new Solomon Islands National University.
“The lack of reference to my Office as the external auditor has already created problems and interference on my Constitutional obligations to audit all public moneys,” Mr Ronia said.