Speaker finds ‘issues’ in CAG office audit

17May 2019
Polycarp Machira
Dodoma
The Guardian
Speaker finds ‘issues’ in CAG office audit

THE National Assembly had received an audit report on the office of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) with the House Speaker Job Ndugai saying there are issues in it.

Speaking shortly before the question and answer session, Ndugai said he received the report from the external auditor, went through and submitted it to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly.

 PAC will go through the report and resubmit it to his office for further action. "I have received the report, gone through it and realized that there are several issues which I expect PAC to go through it and report back to me," he said.

He cited section 46 of the Public Audit Act, Number 11 of 2018, requiring that the National Audit Office should be audited by an external auditor appointed by the PAC, at least once a year.

The audit was conducted by a company, Eki Mangesho, noting that he decided to brief the MPs on the development since the CAG normally tables audit reports of other institutions but his office's report has never been tabled in the House.

In what appears to be a move to corner the CAG, the Speaker stated that when it comes to audit, no person can audit himself and neither is anybody above the rest, just reporting about others only.

The CAG, Prof Mussa Assad, has had a complicated relationship with the House such that a resolution was passed where MPs moved to boycott the CAG, though not the National Audit Office of Tanzania (NOAT) and its annual reports, for remarks suggesting that the legislature was weak in its oversight role on the government.

In a radio interview while on a working trip to the United States last December, Prof Assad described the legislature as "too weak" to hold the government accountable for frequent expenditure discrepancies exposed in past CAG annual audit reports.