Tanzania: 2017/18 Central Government Audit Reports Better

Dodoma — Audit report for the financial year 2017/18 have revealed that 97 per cent of government ministries, departments and agencies received unqualified opinion.

The report prepared by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Prof Mussa Assad, and tabled in Parliament yesterday by the deputy minister for Finance Dr Ashatu Kijaji, the performance is an improvement of 15 per cent from the audits of the 2016/17 financial year.

"During the year 2017/18, out of the 241 financial statements audited 234 (97 per cent) have been issued with unqualified opinion, which means that, the financial statements audited did not have any material errors or omissions and that they complied with the financial reporting requirements," reads part of the Central Government General 2017/18 report.

The report added; "This is an increase of 15 per cent as compared to the previous year's opinions whereby 204 (88 per cent) financial statements were issued with unqualified opinion out of the 231 audited."

The report also says 11 out of 12 new entities established by the government and audited by the CAG for the first time received unqualified opinion "which is a very good start as it lays a strong foundation for subsequent financial reporting periods." The report did not name the entities.

The report further said that out of the 234 financial statements issued with unqualified opinion, 164 (70 per cent) have managed to maintain unqualified opinion for the previous three years consecutively, while 197 (84 per cent) have maintained this opinion from the previous year which depicts an improvement in accountability.

"Also, out of the 234 financial statements issued with clean opinion, we have emphasized 16 financial statements on some areas that needed users' attention. The areas emphasized do not affect opinion issued, as it was only for the purposes of drawing users' attention," the report adds.

Six financial statements audited during the year were issued with qualified opinion, the CAG report says as opposed to 19 in the previous year. This type of opinion is issued when, some areas of the audited financial statements contain material errors/omissions, but the rest of the financial statements are fairly presented in accordance to requirements. The entities include Teachers Service Commission, Bagamoyo College of Art, High Commission of Tanzania, Lusaka and the Public Debt and General Service Department. Other entities are the Immigration Service Department, National Land Use and Planning Commission as well as the Consolidated Financial Statement.

Despite the high quality of audits there were some irregularities in some government entities that led to losses of hundreds of billions of shillings as indicated in other reports tabled in Parliament yesterday.

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