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Auditor-General’s Office undergoes quality assurance review

By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU –   With the objective to comply with the established international standards and best practices, the Office of the Auditor-General (AG) will this month undergo the quality assurance by the African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions.

According to the statement, the four-member review team is composed of the experts from Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa and from the AFROSAI-E Secretariat.

“In an effort to enhance the audit performance of the office and monitor its compliance with the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs), the African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E) of which Lesotho is a member, will carry out Quality Assurance Review from 22nd to 26 August, 2022,” reads the statement from the AG Office.

Focal areas to be reviewed include the Institutional Capacity Building Framework Model, Independence and Legal Framework, Organization and Management, Human Resources, Audit Standards and Methodology and Communication and stakeholder engagement.

Because the work of the AG office is commensurate with the ISSAIs, the Auditor-General is expected to exercise professional judgment in discharging her duties while auditing the government’s financial records and ultimately when issuing out the audit opinion that is envisaged to inform the way forward.

The AG’s staff are part of parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and are instrumental in offering technical advice to the committee. The AG’s report is also critical for the work of the PAC as the Committee is guided by such report when undertaking its oversight task of considering financial statements and initiating investigations as empowered by the constitution.

The AG’s office is established through section 117 of the country’s Constitution and according to subsection (2) (a) and (b), the constitution mandates the AG to, “… (a) satisfy himself that all monies that have been appropriated by Parliament and disbursed have been applied to the purposes to which they were so appropriated and that the expenditure conforms to the authority that governs it; and,

“(b) at least once in every year to audit and report on the public accounts of the Government of Lesotho, the accounts of all officers and authorities of that Government, the accounts of all courts in Lesotho, the accounts of every Commission established by this Constitution and the accounts of the Clerk of each House of Parliament.”

The last Quality Assurance Review by AFROSA-I was in 2017, the Office had said.