Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts Esrom Immanuel says municipal councils are not complying with the national standards of timely submitting audited financial accounts to the Office of the Auditor General.
While moving the motion that Parliament debates the ‘Review of the 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 Audit Reports on Municipal Councils, Immanuel says the review of the accounts was carried out by the previous committee where they collectively reviewed 10 municipal audits from 2018 to 2019 audit reports and 5 municipal audits from 2019 to 2020 Audit report.
He says years of audit coverage range from 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
The Assistant Minister for Finance says this shows that the majority of the municipal councils' audits are in backlog.
He adds the audited back-log is primarily due to the significant delay in the submission of draft financial statements to the Office to the Auditor General, lack of compliance in the financial reporting framework, lack of compliance with the international accounting standards and the lack of compliance with the Local Government Act.
Immanuel says this lack of compliance is reflected in the audit opinion issued by the Auditor General.
Former Chairperson of the Committee Alvick Maharaj says it is important to note that a few municipal councils are covered in both reports and majority of the municipalities are still in backlog.
He says one of the key issues that they identified during their public consultation and consultation with municipalities was that the current appointed CEOs are too involved in dealing with the backlogs.
Maharaj says in the process of doing so, they are actually forgoing the responsibilities that are on their shoulders on time.
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