| PNG Bulletin
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s auditor-general, Gordon Kega, says a large percentage of the 1,500 government entities his office is mandated to audit have not submitted financial statements, some of them for the past eight years.
They include 42 national departments, 21 provincial governments, 20 hospital boards, 321 local-level governments, 432 service improvements plans, 487 statutory authorities and 155 business arms
Kega said the non-submission of financial statements by the public bodies within the legislated timeframe is a major issue.
“Without financial statements, we cannot commence out audits,” he said.
“There is no penalty or consequence for this non-submission as there is no legal body in place to refer the entity and senior officers for civil and administrative review.”
Kega said the ability to improve public administration is difficult when the audit funding his office raises with the entities is often from several years ago.
He said his office needs more resources to conduct the backlog of audits that needs to be completed each year.
“This is an impossible workload for the approximately 110 auditors in my office,” he said.
While the PNG government allocates a substantial amount of its funds to provincial governments, there is no independent assurance that the activities are properly accounted for and consistent with parliament’s intentions.
The quality of financial statements is often not to the required standard and often the staff of entities have had no training in preparing financial statements.