Investigative authorities yet to act on over 6,000 auditor’s reports – NAC boss, Steven Wondu says

Investigative authorities yet to act on over 6,000 auditor’s reports – NAC boss, Steven Wondu says
Auditor General of South Sudan Audit Chamber, Amb. Steven Wondu (photo credit: file)

The National Audit Chamber (NAC) has a backlog of at least 6,000 audit reports with recommendations implicating some government institutions yet to be addressed.

The reports were submitted to the Revitalised Transitional National Legislative Assembly but no substantial debates have taken place to effect the recommendations raised by the watchdog body.

 It exposes some excesses at some government institutions both at the national and state levels.

According to the Auditor General, Steven Wondu, the reports entail recommendations that could have prompted further investigations, especially by the law enforcement institutions, to prove the chamber’s claims; but no actions so far have been taken.

“When the National Audit Chamber makes findings and recommendations, we expect other institutions of the government to [kickstart] the process of implementing the recommendations of the auditor general,” said Auditor General, Steven Wondu.

“The law is very clever; it divides responsibility. The audit institution independently investigates and submits a report to the executive and legislature. They are supposed to show interest in those reports and take appropriate actions to mitigate those practices so that they do not happen again in the future,” he added.

Mr. Wondu did not point a finger at any particular individual or institution but lamented that a lot needed to be done.

But last year, the chamber revealed a report unearthing misappropriation of the 3 per cent oil proceeds meant for the oil field community by some senior government officials. No action was taken against those powerful individuals as mentioned in the report.

In September 2021, Wondu called for the observance of rules and regulations that should be applied in all payments against funding from all sources including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans, grants, and government revenue.

This was after a report covering the audit of the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) of November 2020, from the IMF to the national Minister of Finance and Planning, in which the auditor did not make public its key findings too. 

“The government is big, there is the auditor general who does the auditing and makes the technical findings and recommendations, and the implementation goes back to the executive, which is broad and wide,” Wondu told The City Review in an interview on Wednesday.

“There are some people who are called the police, and criminal investigation to check on doubts of the audit chamber to verify those findings and recommendations.”

He continued “There are very broad ranges of law institutions all the way to the courts if they do not show interest in the findings, the country loses. [For example], if the national auditor chamber says with respect to 50 or 20 million dollars we are not satisfied with the information that we have been given, I expect law enforcement institutions to zoom in. that is what happens in the rest of the world.”