Parliament fails to submit accounts to Auditor-General

Parliament is one of the major non-compliers when it comes to submitting annual accounts to the Auditor-General for examination. According to a report from the Auditor-General’s Department, Parliament has failed to establish a satisfactory Internal Audit Unit (IAU); the present audit system is manned by one person, with no professionally qualified internal auditor in place.

The Internal Audit Unit should operate independently of those persons who are in financial control; however, in Parliament, the unit is under the control of the Director of Finance, the report says. The AG’s report for 2007 was made public only recently, when W. J. M. Lokubandara was the Speaker.
Discrepancies are also highlighted in the AG Department report.

For example, the 2007 estimate for the laundering of Parliament linen and uniforms was Rs, 1,834,000, but actual expenditure came to more than Rs. 3.5 million, an increase of more than 95 per cent.
Referring to kitchen operations, the report cited failures in internal control, resulting in excess spending on food and excess waste of food.

Expenses incurred by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union and the International and SAARC Parliamentary Unions for the 23 years between 1983 and 2006 have not been presented to the Auditor General.

An ambulance valued at Rs. 3.5 million that was made available to the Parliament by the Ministry of Health in September 2007 remained unused up to July 31, 2008. A sum of Rs 1.276 million was paid to a consultant in 2004 and 2005 to draw up a Human Resources Development Plan; however, the plan was implemented only towards the end of 2008.

In August 2006, a total of 10,000 information brochures for a public awareness programme were printed at a cost of Rs1.1 million, but only 100 brochures had been distributed up to December 31 2006. At the end of 2007, the distribution had still not been completed.

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