Current data key in fight against corruption


AUDITOR-general Philip Nauga says up-to-date information is of more use in the fight against corruption than information that is out of date.
He said this in his report when commenting on problem audits (audits in arrears).
Nauga said audits in arrears are those where financial statements had not been submitted on time for audit to be undertaken, consistent with the requirements of the Companies Act and the Public Finances Management Act.
“It is generally true that irrespective of their completeness, accuracy or reliability, financial statements that are unduly delayed lose their relevance,” he said.
“Although there is no consensus regarding the length of time that ought to be allowed to elapse between the pre-determined reporting date and the date when the financial statements lose their relevance, there is a need to weigh the relative merits of preparing them on a timely basis, let alone the legislative requirements.
“Relevant and reliable information therefore is useful for decision-making when these are timely prepared and made available to concerned parties. Relevance here is relative to the value and usefulness of the audited financial information to management and the parties concerned for decision-making.
“Current information is of more relevance in the fight against corrupt practices than information that is out of date.”
Nauga said responsibility for preparation and presentation of financial statements was that of the management of the auditee organisation.
“That being the case, the audit of financial statements by the auditor-general does not in any way relieve management of its responsibility to have financial statements prepared on time,” he said.
“This responsibility also requires management to ensure that an adequate and effective internal control system is maintained so as to ensure, inter-alia, that complete and accurate financial statements are produced on a timely basis.
“To assist management in producing financial statements that meet the qualitative chracteristics, the management’s responsibility also extends to ensuring that
professionally-qualified and experienced accounting personnel are engaged.”