SSNA Recommends Auditors’ Reports For Legal Action

The South Sudan National Assembly

The South Sudan National Assembly

The South Sudan National Assembly (SSNA) yesterday resolved that the Auditor General’s report for the fiscal financial year 2005/6 be submitted to the National Ministry of Justice so as to prosecute those found guilty of squandering the public funds.

The recommendation follows several days of deliberations on the report after its presentation by the parliamentary committee of Public Accounts.
The parliamentarians were divided as to who should receive the report for legal actions. 6 MPs abstained from voting, 44 voted for the report to be referred to the Anti Corruption Commission after the former South Sudanese Minister of finance A. Akuien is investigated.

Former South Sudanese Central Bank Governor Elijah Malok told the House that, Akuein who was sacked in 2007 as finance minister by the President was responsible for the opening of some foreign accounts abroad in Geneva. Malok also disclosed that, Akuein was involved in diversion of public funds into his personal account.

However, former Justice Minister, currently Minister of Cabinet Affairs Hon. Michael Makwei later influenced many parliamentarians; 68 voted for a motion that the report be referred to the Ministry of Justice for the legal proceedings.

During the first presentation of the Public Accounts Committee after its work on the report, the South Sudanese Minister of Justice told the August House he will not prosecute any person found guilty on the report. This is due to the fact that the Auditor General’s report should have covered all the government institutions.

Many parliamentarians criticised the report saying it is not comprehensive and lack several facts. Others also criticized that the reports were not comprehensive since they dint audit the Presidency, Judiciary and some government institutions.

However, Mr. Stephen Wondu, the Auditor General who was also summoned yesterday to clarify questions by the House informed Parliament that, at the time of the auditing, several of the government institutions had refused to cooperate with the Chamber.

He told the House also that, as far as his work is concerned, professionally he is to report whatsoever he had found and expressed his opinion. He also cited lack of human resource, political will and ignorance among some of the government institutions as barring factors for comprehensive report.

The 2005/6 financial reports of the Auditor General are the first audited reports presented to parliament since the establishment of the government in 2005. Wondu who took over office in 2010 said that, the prevailing situation in which the government was set up then and the system of accounting, transactions and payments he mentioned could not give the Chamber adequate resources and ground to come up with a comprehensive report.

In his opinion on the two reports, he said they do not express fair and transparent usage of the South Sudan public funds.

Parliament passes report of the Public Accounts Committee and Imports and Exports
During the same sitting the August House continued to deliberate and discuss the report of the Committee of Energy and Mining, Commerce and Industry on import and export Bill, 2011 in its second reading by Hon. Henry Dilah Odwer, the chairperson of the committee. The Bill was a result of sitting No. 13/2011 of the first session dated 21st September, 2011 which was tabled by the minister for Justice after the Bill was presented to the August House.

The Bill was referred to the specialized committee in accordance with 99 (1) of the adopted Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly Regulations (2010) for scrutiny of the Imports and Exports Bill, 2011.

After long deliberations and debate, the August House decided to pass the Bill to third reading with observations and amendments and present next day for third and fourth reading due to urgency.

The sitting was chaired by Right Hon. Speaker Gen. James Wani Igga and attended by 212 members. It was also attended by ministers, Auditor General and chairpersons/deputy chairpersons.

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