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Public Accounts Committee calls for urgent review – FBC News

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Esrom Immanuel

In the past, the recommendations of the public accounts committee were not taken seriously by municipalities under previous governments.

This was emphasized by the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Esrom Immanuel, when he submitted the audit reports of the municipal councils for the years 2021-2022. The report included the annual accounts of the ten municipalities dating back to 2011.

The Deputy Minister of Finance said delays, backlogs, non-compliance with the financial reporting framework and non-compliance with the Local Government Act prevailed due to insufficient supporting documents.

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Immanuel says that under sections 57.1 and 3 of the Local Government Act 1972, councils must prepare and publish their audited financial statements; however, most of them did not meet these legal requirements.

“Under this new commission, under a new government, we are not going to accept that, sir. We are going to improve the situation for the benefit of the municipalities and the country.”

The Assistant Minister says they aim, with the assistance of the Office of the Auditor General, to update all accounts in the 2025 financial year.

Immanuel also emphasized in the House of Representatives that they have made an urgent recommendation to all municipalities.

“But I will highlight just one that we have discussed with all municipalities, and that is that we have given them July 24 to submit an action plan to the commission and the national parliament on updating the financial accounts , approving all unsubstantiated balance sheets, and identifying and resolving all audit issues raised between 2013 and 2018.”

The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee says that the actions include recommendations and implementations of verification and ultimately possible write-offs, and that they have given the municipalities another six months until January 2026 to implement these actions with the help of the ministry of Finance. possible depreciation.

Immanuel added that the committee strongly recommends that municipalities take immediate action to improve financial accountability.

He said the committee will continue to highlight issues in this area until these municipalities improve their audit status and strengthen their system and process for accounting for public funds.