The parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee on Monday approved over MVR 50 million as the next year’s budget for the Auditor General’s Office.
The budget submitted by the Audit Office was passed unanimously by all members of the committee.
The committee had passed a budget of MVR 45 million for this year in 2016. Furthermore, the economic committee has decided to appeal the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to allocate a further MVR 2 million to the Auditor General’s Office this year, based on its expenditures.
Committee chair and Villimale MP Ahmed Nihan revealed that the Audit Office has completed 627 reports to date since its founding, with 78 reports released this year.
Commenting on the approved budget for 2018, Vilufushi MP Riyaz Rasheed and Feydhoo MP Ibrahim Didi of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) both conceded that the budget of MVR 50 million proposed by the Auditor General’s Office is reasonable.
MP Riyaz noted that some institutions complain of difficulties in carrying out their lawful mandates if sufficient amount of funds are withheld, the responsibility of which ultimately falls on the parliament and finance ministry.
Meanwhile, Kaashidhoo MP Faisal Naseem of opposition Jumhoory Party stressed the importance of auditing the expenditures of state institutions and companies. He expressed satisfaction with the work of the Auditor General’s Office so far.
Gemanafushi MP Jameel Usman of PPM further assured the economic council’s unwavering support for efforts to find and return missing funds to the state, as per the audit reports’ orders. He also called on the authorities to hasten action with regards to the issues highlighted in audit reports.