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Auditors advise on budget execution

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The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Malawi has called on the government to exercise prudence in managing finances to avoid inconsistencies in budget implementation.

Parliament recently passed the K1.3 trillion 2017/18 national budget, most of it to be funded using domestic resource mobilisation.

In a statement signed by IIA-Malawi President, Paul Nyirenda, the institute has cautioned government against laxity in financial management, if the financial plan is to be effective in turning around the economy.

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The institute has outlined keys economic attainments that can jumpstart robust economic growth. But, it says, this can be missed if there is no prudence in budget control and systematic public finance management.

Key among the attainments outlined is improved agricultural output, low inflation, and improved economic growth.

“These developments can be effectively implemented and sustained if there are adequate and effective governance processes, risk management and strong control environment,” IAA recommends.

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The institute has further urged other stakeholders to work towards creating a suitable environment for the achievement of the objectives stipulated in the 2017/18 national budget.

It states that the internal audit function in government must have appropriate organisational structure “to enhance independence and objectivity” and be adequately resourced in order to effectively carry out its duties.

A further recommends that risk management around the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis) must be enhanced to ensure prudent public finance management.

According to the statement, a systemic and timely reconciliation of all government accounts must be in place and any unreconciled items must be investigated and corrected on time.

It further states that the recommendations made by forensic and independent auditors, such as the Baker Tilly report and reports from the Central Internal Audit Unit, to improve the control environment, must be fully implemented.

“The objectives of the 2017/18 national budget will be achieved if the implementation is supported by strong control environment, good risk management and setting of the right tone by top Government officials,” IIA said.

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