October 4, 2007 (JUBA, Sudan) — South Sudan has signed up a British accounting
firm to help it conduct its first ever audit, to shed light on possible corruption
in the semi-autonomous region formed after a 2005 north-south peace deal.
The audit will investigate how $500 million of reserve money was spent without
parliamentary approval in 2006, south Sudan’s Auditor General Barnabas
Majok told Reuters. The government’s total budget for that year was $1.4
billion, he said.
"We will work with (accounting firm) PKF in coordination with the national
audit chambers in the UK," Majok said on Wednesday. "They will provide
technical support for three years for about $9 million."
A June investigation by the government’s Anti-Corruption Commission found
"dramatic over-expenditure," Majok said.
"The Ministry of Finance was operating without procedures," said
Majok. "There were incidences of some ministries contracting more than
was in their budget."
The Anti-Corruption Commission has been unable to act on the charges because
a law has not been passed to govern it, its head Pauline Riak said.
"(The audit) will be vital. We will be told if there are fiscal problems
here or there," she said. "We’re actually waiting to be able
to move in a systematic way."
South Sudan pumps about 500,000 barrels per day of crude, which accounts for
about 95 percent of its revenue.