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The office of the Federal Auditor General reported that it has identified various accounting mismanagement and lack of controlling mechanism in several federal government offices in its 2011/12 audit report presented to the house of Peoples’ Representatives.
In his presentation to parliament, Auditor General Gemechu Dubiso indicated that close to 1.4 billion birr has not been accounted for properly by 57 government offices, as per the stipulated regulation, during the stated fiscal year.
Members of parliament conveyed their dismay, saying that such flagrant flaws reflect on the disregard of the laws and regulations that the House of Peoples’ Representatives prepare, by the government offices and unless tackled quickly this could open the door wide for corruption.
According to the Auditor General report, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Agriculture Technique Education Training Project Coordinator office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government Procurement Service and Ministry of Defence are some of the major governmental offices that did not provide proper documentation for procurements conducted during the stated period by their respective offices. The report states that 401.7 million birr from the Ministry of Education, 155.5 million birr from the Agriculture Technique Education Training Project Coordinator Office and 173.7 million birr from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not been properly accounted for.
In addition, lack of clarity in finance administration that made it difficult to get information to clearly identify the financial document is the other major problem emphasised by the Auditor General.
Moreover, the Auditor General identified that the revenue expected from tax collection offices has not been collected during the stated year.
Among the sample audit the Auditor General office conducted on four offices and six Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority branches (ERCA), it has identified that 29.2 million birr revenue from tax and customs has not been collected as per the regulation.
The report further states that 853.9 million birr accrued tax, interest and fine that should have been collected by ERCA remain outstanding in the stated fiscal year.
On the other hand, according to the Auditor General report, five governmental offices were issuing receipts and collecting revenue without authorization from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
Another 132.3 million birr was registered as expense in 13 government offices without adequate explanation.
Meanwhile, 30 offices have undertaken 353.5 million birr worth of purchases without following the country’s procurement regulation and bid procedures. Jima University is the major government administration that undertook such purchase worth 240 million birr, followed by Information Network Security Agency and four other universities.
According to the report, government offices have undertaken the purchase without open bid and price competition.
In his report the Auditor General stressed that the government need to take serious measures against the offices that do not follow the procurement regulation, as such kind of purchases are highly vulnerable for corruption.
Making payment without following the rules and regulations of specific compensations was also mentioned as major problems that face the government offices. According to the report, the Auditor General has identified 137.3 million birr payment made by 21 offices contrary to the rules and regulation.
3.5 billion birr payments have also been disbursed in nine offices without any specific explanations. Ministry of Defence and National Information and Security Service are leading with 3.16 billion birr and 187.8 million birr respectively.
Other three new universities have also made payments worth over 85 million birr without the required proper documentation.
According to the report, the audit coverage represents 96.1 percent and 17 audit reports have been released from the 19 that were scheduled to be released by the Auditor General office.