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Ronia shares report on audit office here

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A REPORT on the results of a study on the state of accountability and transparency of government finances has been distributed by the Auditor General Edward Ronia.

The report “Accountability and Transparency in the Pacific Region” was commissioned by the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) which has been formed to help the national audit offices in the Pacific region to become more proficient and compliant with international standards of audit practice.

The report looked at all the national audit offices in the Pacific region with special attention to Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga, Guam and the Federated States of Micronesia.

The study found that the Solomon Islands had in place most of the legal and administrative requirements to provide for a high level of transparency and accountability for the collection and use of public resources, but that some of these arrangements could work better.

The key requirements identified in the study included:

  •          independence of the national audit office
  •          transparent government budgets
  •          active scrutiny by the Parliament and Public Accounts Committee
  •          legal and ethical management of public servants
  •          control of corruption
  •          public availability of official information
  •          good governance practices in the government
  •          increased community participation; and
  •          media freedom.

Mr Ronia said that although the Constitution provided for the independence of his Office in terms of appointment, it is silent when it comes to access to the funding and staffing of his Office.

According to Mr Ronia, this was not good practice in terms of what is expected for national audit offices internationally.

He said that he was reviewing the draft legislation being prepared to update the current Public Finance and Audit Act that has been operating since the country’s independence.

This review should be able to reflect current demands on his Office for more professional audit services.