FEC Approves Continuous Auditing Of All MDAs’ Expenditure | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FEC Approves Continuous Auditing Of All MDAs’ Expenditure

Posted: Mar 10, 2016 at 6:28 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved a Presidential

Initiative on Continuous Audit, to strengthen controls of Federal

Government expenditures in the country and enhance transparency.

The new initiative would allow a strengthened internal audit easy access to continuously audit not just the payroll but general expenditures which may include Contracts and Pensions of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) without notice.

FEC approved the setting up of the initiative effectively using an executive order to create internal audit to enable government to extend the audit to everywhere that federal money is being spent or received for better oversight.

“If we don’t strengthen our controls then there is a risk that monies would leak or may be applied to the wrong things and therefore, we must have the ability to go into various agencies without notice and check and do audits and updates to make sure that public money is being spent in accordance with our expectations and objectives,” Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, said.

Briefing journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after the FEC

meeting which now seemingly holds once a month, Adeosun, with Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information, and Babachir Lawal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, disclosed that government had also commenced the second phase of the payroll of another potential 11,000 ghost workers.

The first phase of the payroll audit had revealed the existence of 23,000 ghosts saving the country about N2.29 billion after they were removed.

Explaining the initiative, Adeosun said government felt that the “continuous audit work should not just be limited to payroll, there is

actually need to strengthen internal audit across government”.

She said the World Bank has indicated its readiness to support the

initiative, but recognised that it would take about six months to get the required legislation done.

“So as an interim we have agreed to do the Presidential initiative on

Continuous audits which will give backings to the work that we are currently doing and will allow us to extend this work beyond payroll

to other areas of expenditure” she said, adding that “FEC deliberated extensively about the need for this and agreed that the control framework over finance and spending of government’s money needed to be strengthened especially in anticipation of the approval of the budget, which is an extended budget.”

The Finance Minister who noted that no new staff would be recruited for the job said existing qualified accountants from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and within the Civil Service would be redeployed for this function.

She added that though there were existing internal audit offices, there were issues relating to the staff auditing those they actually report to and the lack of adequate technological techniques to handle current auditing software.