The Auditor General’s office has increased the number of people working but is still significantly short of its goal of 21 people needed to deliver financial and performance audit, and investigate corruption and fraud. It now has 15 staff on board.
In Auditor General Junior Patrick’s report to Nitijela that accompanied delivery of multiple completed audits he points out key needs for accountability in the RMI. Patrick’s report stated:
• Performance audits are essential to review effective of government programs. The Auditor’s Performance Audit Division has completed eight such performance reviews, identifying 55 findings or deficiencies, and making 106 recommendations for ways to remedy these problems. Four performance reviews are planned for this year, including functional review of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, performance audit of public procurement, review of the RMI Embassy in Japan, and audit of the RMI Passport Division.
• Investigations into allegations of fraud, waste and abuse in the collection and spending of public money are ongoing. The office received eight new allegations of fraud in the August to December period, all of which are under investigation. These involved: theft of public assets, forgery of government checks, abuse of power by government officials, embezzlement of public funds, and government employees taking bribes.
Read more about this in the March 11, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.