Background of the OAG
SWSS OAG was established in 2015.The office has started operating in January 2018 with the help of PREMIS beginning with audit introductory trainings, capacity injection and coaching. The Office has an AG and three other staff that were recruited through the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
Apart from Capacity injections through quarterly workshop and on job coaching in the field, PREMIS also provided us with computer equipment. PREMIS is also in the process of hiring an office, acquiring furniture and equipment, setting up a website and providing other auxiliary assistance to the OAG SWSS.
Mandate of the Auditor-General and the OAG
The mandate of the Auditor-General and the OAG is protected in the Constitution of Southwest state of Somalia and the draft Public Audit Act of the state, 2018 which is under review and will be presented to Parliament as a draft bill. The core mandate is to carry out audits and report to Parliament and the relevant County Assemblies within statutory timelines.
It includes carrying out economy, efficiency and effectiveness audits and audit of accounts of the national executive, county governments, the judiciary and other independent tribunals, cities and urban areas, parliament and the legislative assemblies in the county governments, statutory bodies/state corporations, commissions and other government agencies.
Role and Responsibilities of OAG
The responsibility and accountability go together in any government structure, likewise for the southwest state of Somalia. According to the Regulations for the Accounts of the state, the Executive collects, disburses and manages public funds. Each government agency is answerable to the public and the taxpayers, on the manner in which it performs its stewardship functions.
In the matter of management and control of Public Finances, the State Parliament of SWSS plays an important role. The raising and expenditure of public funds by the State administration is subject to authorization and control by the Parliament. In incurring expenditure of public funds, the Agencies and ministries are required to exercise strict commitment and expenditure control and ensure efficiency and economy of operations in accordance with the State public financial management (PFM) and intentions of Parliament.
Current Capacities of OAG's
The OAG was established in 2015 but was not fully operational until January 2018. Since then, with the support of the UK/EU funded PREMIS project, staff and institutional capacity has steadily improved. The Office currently has an Auditor General (AG) and three other staff that were recruited through the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
Apart from Capacity building activities through quarterly workshops and on-the-job coaching in the field, the PREMIS project has also provided us with computer equipment, financed the purchase of furniture and equipment and is currently working with us to set up the OAG website.
Critically, the proposed Audit Law has still not been approved by Parliament. Although the SWSS Constitution and PFM Acts give some structure on the roles and responsibilities of the Auditor General, the Audit Act is required to provide further detail and to reinforce the mandate of the office.