Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: Govt Report Cites Widespread Accounting Irregularities

The Federal Auditor General reported to Parliament on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, that various government institutions had auditing errors worth a total of 6.5 billion Br during the 2011/12 fiscal year.

The deviations which the auditor general, Gemechu Dubisso, mentioned included inappropriate procurement, unaccounted expenses, un-audited money, outstanding collection, and arrears.

The unaccounted expenses totalled 3.5 billion Br, with the Ministry of Defense (MoD) alone being responsible for 3.16 billionBr.The National Intelligence & Security Service,WelloUniversity,MizanTepiUniversityandSemeraUniversityhave also had 187 million Br, 41 million Br, 29 million Br and 14 million Br, respectively, of unaccounted expenses.

There was also 1.36 billion Br in un-audited money from the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), MoD and 54 other institutions. Lack of information, abnormal balance, lack of available documents were also among the deviations identified by the auditor general.

Outstanding collection at the Ethiopian Revenue & Custom Authority (ERCA) and six other institutions amounted to nearly 866 millionBr.

Procurements that did not follow procedures amounted to 354 million Br in 30 institutions, with JimmaUniversityreported to be the biggest culprit.

The general's report includes the audit and performance reports of federal institutions and protection of basic services. The report was produced based on international audit standard, federal audit standard and based on the report from the institutions, Gemechu said.

"The report is completely incorrect and was not based on legal documents," Tola Beriso (PhD), Vice president of Adama Science &Technology University (ASTU) told Fortune.

His university was reported to have spent 27 million Br outside of the accepted procurement procedure. This money was part of transaction the University had with the German technical cooperation, GIZ, according to Tola, who adds that his University has not violated any procedures.

GIZ is constructing buildings at the university; the project is consulted by MH Engineering. Tola says he will write a letter to the Parliament, to the Auditor General and the Ministry of Education, to provide its version of the financial report.

The Auditor General's report has canvassed a total of 124 federal institutions which depend on government budget.

Until July 7, 2012, there are 20 governmental institutions which did not complete their report.

"If the institutions are operating in such manner, it is a clear embezzling the property of the government and peoples," the parliament member said.

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