Audit Report Reveals Massive Embezzlement of Public Funds

An audit report has revealed that US $ 180 million oil revenues for the 2006 financial year cannot be accounted for.

By Waakhe Simon Wudu

JUBA, 04 November 2011 [Gurtong] –The South Sudan Auditor General Stephen Wondu told the South Sudan National Assembly that the monies were spent in the South Sudan government’s key areas; oil revenues, pay roll expenditure, capital expenditure and bank and cash balances.

The report reveals that large sums of money is reported to have been spent by South Sudan government institutions while others are reported to have been spent by the then Government of National Unity (GoNU).

Wondu said that US$122.6 million was reported to have been used by the government to purchase 1,609 vehicles and 363 bicycles.

“However, we were unable to establish any records of location, registration details, custodians and present conditions of the vehicles”, he said.

The Southern Sudan Audit Chamber financial audit report that was presented to the National Assembly. [©Gurtong]He added that GoSS accounts could not explain a legality of application of US$80.6 million as an outstanding grant from GoNU, saying that the South Sudanese Ministry of Finance reported to the Auditor General that US$12million was paid for construction of the Aweil-Miriam road.

“The Speaker of the Southern Sudan National Assembly said the Assembly did not authorise the extra budgetary appropriation (US$80.6m). The minister of roads and transport denies knowledge of these road projects”, said Wondu.

The report further says that the financial statements of the GoSS accounts omitted a commitment made on 5 March 2006 of US$288.0million in the form of bank guarantee for road works in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State by Eyat Roads and Bridges.

However, both the SSNA Speaker and the Minister of Roads and Transport denied knowledge of this transaction.

The report further reveals that US$7.4million was transferred in the financial year 2006 to BNP Paribas Private Bank, Geneva.

The Auditor General pointed out that “the accounts in Geneva are not in the name of the GoSS.”

He added that during the 2006 financial year, fifteen government institutions did not submit payrolls, nominal rolls, staff dossiers and other salary related records despite numerous requests by the Ministry of Finance. This, he said has led to the unaccounted US$440.7million.

Seven GoSS institutions; Ministry of Finance, Public Service, Telecommunication, Environment, Local Government Board, Relief and Human Rights Commissions are reported to have exceeded their approved annual budgets without any legal authorisation from the then Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA). They are reported to have all spent US$189.5million.

Wondu told parliament while presenting the report that accuracy of the unaccounted funds cannot be certified by audit for want of complete details and reconciliations.

Members of the Assembly expressed strong concerns against the report with others suggesting that a committee be established to investigate misappropriation of the funds while others proposed publication of names of corrupt officials to the public.

The report was handed to the Assembly’s Accounts Committee to summarize and re-present to the parliament for further deliberations.

Auditor General Wondu affirmed that the South Sudan National Assembly will soon launch investigations into reported embezzled of US$1.3billion of the national public funds for the financial year 2006.

The Southern Sudan Audit Chamber financial audit report that was presented to the National Assembly. [©Gurtong]

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