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Law needed to police auditors

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Lack of legal instruments to govern internal audit processes is being faulted for the irregularities in management of both public and private sector institutions in the country.

The concern comes as Malawi is yet to enact the Internal Audit Act and adopt a policy accompanying it. The policy was drafted last year.

If adopted, the law will help govern the sector and improve its effectiveness. In the recent past, there have been many incidents reported both in both the public and private sectors, where failure of internal controls has led to plunder and looting of resources.

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As part of commemorations to mark the global Internal Audit Month, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Malawi President, Thokozile Kuwali, said the absence of mandatory provisions in the law to govern the industry has greatly affected service delivery.

According to Kuwali, the Act is still in draft form and its enactment is dependent on approval of the policy, which was submitted to Cabinet last year.

“There is a gap because there is no law to enforce some of the things in the industry. The law is already in draft form and we have drafted a policy to support it. What is needed now is political will to make sure that this law is enacted,” Kuwali said.

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She said it was critical for Malawi to pass the Bill as it would act as a formal platform for regulating operations of the audit profession.

Malawi once witnesses the massive plunder of billions of kwacha from government coffers in what has been dubbed Cashgate. The incident happened under the watch of internal auditors.

Experts have since said empowering audit structures would help to reduce mismanagement of resources in both public and private institutions.

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