No records on $12m spent by Somali gov’t in 2019, audit report reveals

Mogadishu, 10 December 2020 (HOL) – Somali government cannot account for up to $12 million it spent in the financial year 2019, a report by the country’s Auditor General has revealed adding that contracts running into upwards of $5 million were awarded without the approval of the Auditor General.

The report details a wide range of malpractices including cash approvals without supporting documents, use of unofficial receipts to collect revenues and poor debt management by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

In the report, Auditor General Mohamed Ali reveals that 55% of all MDAs did not submit their financial statements for audit in accordance with the law. Most of the MDAs, the AG said offered no explanation for the failure.
“There were payment vouchers along with supporting documents that were not cancelled by stamping them with a dated “PAID Stamp” to prevent the use of such documents in support of further payments, “the report said.

The National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) came up as the least transparent in its spending failing to account for $1.3 million followed by Somali National Army which could not justify a spending of $1.1 million.

Besides spending, the report says, MDAs also awarded contracts running to millions of dollars without registering the Office of the Auditor General.

Top on the list were the two Houses of Parliament which jointly approved contracts worth $2.6 million without notifying the Auditor General.

The Upper House awarded contracts worth $1.7 million while the Lower House made similar awards to the tune of $848,000.

Imprudent fiscal management was also reported in revenue collection. The report notes that some ministries collected revenues using receipts not provided by the Accountant General as required by the law.

For example, the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs collected $1.7 million using its own receipts and not those provided by the Accountant General.

The Ministry of Transport too collected $115,000 in similar manner.

The revenues from these MDAs were used directly instead of first depositing at the Centra Bank, the report adds.