22 June 2014

Tanzania: CAG Promises Audit Probe On Extractive Industry

Dodoma — CONTROLLER and Auditor General, Mr Ludovic Utoh, has promised that a thorough audit will be done on the extractive industry in the country.

He said this here on Friday night during the closing ceremony of a ten day training that brought together 92 National Audit Office staff on how to detect fraud and corruption in the extractive industry and in general auditsMr Utoh noted that the training was just a beginning of a series of trainings for all NAO staff who are over 600 in number countrywide.

He noted that he was making contacts with various countries where staff could go for attachment to gather experience on audit in the extractive industry.

"From this very group we will select a few who are going to be champions in the extractive industry audit. To start with we will send the selected group of champions to Ghana," he said.

Mr Utoh said that the group of champions would be selected from the 92 staff that had undergone the training, adding that those who performed well will be nominated for attachment in Ghana.

"We now have the capacity to thoroughly audit agencies working with the ministry of energy and minerals from the extractive industry," he said.

He noted that unconfirmed data had it that government loses about 248million US dollars (about 415bn/-) annually in tax revenue through mining companies.

He told participants at the training sponsored by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through Strengthening Tanzania Anti- Corruption Action (STACA), auditors are obliged to report fraud and corruption as per Section 27 of the Public Audit Act number 11 of 2008, as amended by the Financial Act in 2010.

"According to this section, we have a responsibility of notifying investigative organs with notification to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) during the course of auditing when we detect or suspect fraud and corruption," he said.

He added "Section 27 of the PAA requires us to conduct special and forensic audits. Under section 27 it is our duty as auditors to learn how to detect fraud and corruption within government financial transactions," he said.

One of the mentors in the training, Dr Abeid Gasper from the Institute of Finance Management (IFM), said that the training went on smoothly and was lively.

He said that the participants performed well, scoring an average of 56 per cent in the final tests. Speaking on behalf of the trainees, Ms Kauthar Othuman thanked NAO management for the training, saying it has provided an insight to the extractive industry operations.

She noted that the training will enhance their performance and help government in ensuring that natural resources benefit 'wananchi.'

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