Audit Bureau discovers 817.8 million birr unaudited in AAWSA’s account

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The Audit Bureau of the Addis Ababa City Administration discovered unaudited 817.8 million birr in the accounts of the Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority (AAWSA). AAWSA attributed the gap due to the lack of budget balancing between its head office and project office, responsible for  surface and underground water development.
On Saturday, February 2,  2013, the Audit Bureau reported to the Addis Ababa City Council that it has discovered six major discrepancies while auditing the AAWSA account. Among these are the fact that AAWSA has no documentation showing it has repaid the 625.7 million birr credit it owes the World Bank and other creditors. The report also identified that AAWSA’s construction projects that have commenced years ago haven’t resulted in significant progress. According to the report, only 45.8 million birr has been repeatedly reported in credit for a long period of time. “The audit report also identifies negligence in regards to reporting practices. Goods worth 67 million birr are stated for years, in the account of AAWSA, as being in the process of transit,” reads the report.
The report adds that the authority is very inefficient in executing its daily routine. It indicated that AAWSA hasn’t collected 79.3 million birr from its clients.
Hayelom Tawuye, AAWSA’s Deputy General Manager for Resource admits the existence of the unaudited account but argued that not all of them are debts. “What the audit bureau has presented in its findings to the city council is correct, but the problem arises from the mismanagement of reports by the two offices and are from different years,” Hayelom who said he was appointed only recently informed Capital.
According to him, the audit report referred to the 2011/12 period of the project office and the 2008/09 audit report of the main office are the cause behind the discrepancies discovered by the audit bureau.
“The latest reports of both the project office and the head office should be balanced in order to get the right figures,” Hayelom argued.
“The 625.7 million birr is the credit the authority had accumulated since 1970. The credit should have been written off by the World Bank (WB). The government should also have written it off from the authority’s account,” he added in explanation.
“The authority has also taken the case of the 79 million birr in bad debts to the court,” said Hayelom.
The audit bureau has started auditing 40 institutions over the last six months. It is also undertaking the auditing of 13 institutions that started prior to the current fiscal year. The Bureau, in turn, admitted that the auditing plan and its implementation haven’t met all of its projected goals due to the limitations it has in regards to its human resource capabilities. Currently, it has only 217 employees, of whom 86 are regularly conducting audits. 
The number of professionals available is quite limited, while the incapacity of the bureau to pay attractive salaries and offer incentives to those available impedes its efforts to retain them on a long term basis, if at all, the bureau claimed in its report.