Sunday, April 20, 2008

Act on A-G’s report before getting other audits, Penang urged - The Star

PENANG: April 20, 2008

The state government should give attention to existing findings from the Auditor-General’s report on the financial status of local councils and other state government departments before engaging independent auditors to assess the matter.

Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) president Nik Mohd Hasyudeen Yusoff said the government should first recognise weaknesses highlighted by the Auditor-General because engaging another audit would involve more resources.

“The MIA sees any move that encourages good governance in a positive light. However, if due process has been conducted by the Auditor-General’s department, cognisance must be given to those findings.

“There is a need to check previous findings first, as a new audit would likely bring about increased costs to taxpayers,” he said when contacted.

“It is important to ensure there is no duplication in the audits as it would involve time and money.”

However, Nik Mohd Hasyudeen noted that if an independent audit was required then it should be done in a transparent manner based on who is able to do the job best.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had announced earlier this month that an independent auditor would be sought to look into the financial status of both the Penang and Seberang Prai municipal councils as well as all other state government agencies and departments.

The decision came following the disclosure that the Seberang Prai Municipal Council had an accumulated deficit of RM226mil over the last eight years.

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