By DASSU STEPHEN, 22nd May 2011 @ 11:29, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 4061
THE Local Government Authorities’ have come under fire for their failure to adhere to stipulated audits and internal financial controls in their respective areas.
A recent report issued by a non-governmental organization, known as Uwazi , reveals for the past five years, the audits, internal financial controls in Local Government Authorities (LGAs) are still comparatively weak, and also irregularities identified by the Controller and Auditor General ( CAG) are simply ‘ignored’.
Uwazi said the overall audit opinions for the past five years did not improve, as it had been established that the auditing and financial management in LGAs defy the stipulated standards.
The laws requires the office of the CAG to audit the accounts of LGAs and the findings tabled to the Parliament. It is stated that every time the CAG audits LGAs, he suggests remedial measures to ensure that similar irregularities do not occur again in the future.
Accounting officers are expected to implement these recommendations. In practice, this seems not to be happening, and similar irregularities continue to crop up and seem to affect more LGAs every year. It demonstrates that audit recommendations are not taken seriously, says the report.
A recent trend shows that a number of clean (unqualified) audit opinions issued to the LGAs fluctuates yearly. Comparing the results for 2009/10 with those for 2005/6 there is no evidence of an overall improvement in the last five years.
In fact, after an improvement between 2005/6 and 2006/7 the quality of financial management appears to be declining –at least when measured against the yardstick of Audit opinions, reads part of the report.
A clear indication of the deterioration in financial management is also vindicated in 2009/10 showing that many LGAs received an unclean audit opinion (65 percent) . Moreover, the number of adverse audits is rising (from 0 in 2006/7 to 4 percent in 2009/10).
And while in 2005/06, the CAG issued three clean audit opinions without emphasis on matters, this kind of opinion has not been issued to LGAs since then.
In other words, in the past four years all LGAs have had such serious issues with their financial management that the CAG considered it pertinent to raise them with both council management and the public.
In 2005/06 and 2009/10, for example, the report indicated among other things, a significant number of the LGAs failed to fully spend development grants, and entering commitments beyond available means involved more than 100 councils during 2009/10, twice as many as in 2005/6.
The report states the best way forward is obviously not to stop having financial audit, but to make sure that audit challenges are eff ectivelly addressed
“This brief suggests that Tanzania needs to establish incentives to make sure that audit recommendations are effectively implemented.”
The report calls upon the Local Authorities Accounts Committee of the Parliament to take a more active role by taking to task irresponsible accounting officers who fail to effectively manage resources in respective areas.
It also suggests the Councils should become more transparent about resources they collect and/or receive, and what they are intended to finance, “Only under a transparent environment can citizens meaningfully enforce accountability from the demand side” the report suggests.
Total Comments on the above stories (0)
TSN Daily News building, Samora Avenue, Plot No. 7, P.O.Box 9033, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.