By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
THE Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, has decried the refusal of some federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, to submit audit reports as and when due.
Speaking during a virtual training of MDAs’ internal auditors on the modernisation of audit process, yesterday, Idris said there was a clear evidence of flouting the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act by some MDAs through late submission of audit reports, stressing that some don’t submit at all.
He said: “Permit me to also use this opportunity to reiterate the need for auditors to put in their reports promptly as and when due as specified by FR 1706 which states thus: ‘The Internal Auditor shall produce monthly, quarterly and half-yearly reports for the Accounting Officer on the progress of the audit with copies to the Accountant-General of the Federation and Auditor-General for the Federation’ respectively.
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“Regrettably, it has been observed that most MDAs are behind in their reports while others have willfully refused to render these reports which are clear violation of the provision of the Financial Regulations.” Mr. Idris warned that going forward, Heads of Internal Audit would be held responsible for failure to timely submit audit reports.
“Consequently, may I inform you that refusal to forward these reports by any MDA forthwith would be regarded as an attempt to undermine the authority of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Head of Internal Audit of such defaulting MDA(s) will be duly sanctioned,’’ he said.
The AGF said the Federal Government had made significant progress towards the audit modernization project in the establishment of an audit data capturing centre, with a view to securing an interface with the IPPIS and GIFMIS Platforms through which transaction could be viewed online-real-time.
For this purpose, he disclosed that 20 laptops and 20 desktops computers had been acquired.
The AGF added that approval had also been granted for the acquisition of five Interactive Data Extract Analysis, IDEA, software licences that would be used by the Audit Monitoring Department and deployed to some pilot agencies that indicated interest to acquire the software.
The IDEA software is a computer based file interrogation tool that can be used by numerous individuals and organisations including auditors, accountants, investigators and IT staff.
It analyses data in multiple ways and allows for extraction, sampling and manipulation of data in order to identify errors, problems, specific issues and trends.
Idris said: “Audit Modernization is a key component of the Economic Reform and Governance Project.
‘’It is upgrading the level of audit from current practices to a level where audits are conducted in line with international best practices, using modern approach and information and communication technologies.”