Auditor General, Mr Gamini Herath, has submitted his annual report for the year 2018 to the Speaker of the National Assembly for tabling, as required under Article 158 (5) of the Constitution.

This is the third consecutive year the report has been submitted two months in advance of the statutory deadline, which normally falls in the month of December each year.

The main objective of submitting early reports to the National Assembly is to allow the members more time for reading, analysing and appreciating the information on the overall budget performance for 2018 and the mattes arising from the audit of individual public bodies.

The Auditor General, Gamini Herath, attended the AFROSAI-E 16th Governing Board meeting and strategic reviews under the themes “SAIs having a voice to influence Governments for greater accountability” and “SAIs having a voice to influence government for greater service delivery” during 6th to 10th May in Maputo, Mozambique.

At the official opening on the 6th, the opening remarks were made by his Excellency the President of Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.  The meeting also saw the participation of other high ranking guest speakers on the above themes including Dr Luisa  Diago, the former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Mozambique and Mr Osten Chulu from the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) on the implementation of SDGs and African Aspiration for 2063.  While attending the meetings, Auditor General also participated in a panel discussion on the theme ‘SAI having a voice to influence government for greater service delivery’ , audit of SDGs and tourism infrastructures, held following a key note address delivered by Mr Osten Chulu  from African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) for SDGS/AGENDA 2063, who also moderated the discussion. Other panellists included the Auditors General from Mozambique and Uganda. 

This is my second annual report presented to the National Assembly two months earlier than the statutory ‘December’ deadline.  This has been done in response to a request for timely reports from various stakeholders including the National Assembly and the government. More efforts are continuing to reduce the time taken to produce annual reports even further and, hopefully, to present them at the end of September each year. With this in mind, the twelve-month audit cycle has been realigned to run from September to August.

The Office of the Auditor General was set up as body corporate as per the Auditor General Act, 2010. The OAG is an independent and autonomous body enjoying a high level of administrative and financial independence from the government. The OAG has recently adopted a new logo in keeping with its image, reputation and mission to the Seychellois nation. 

Office of the Auditor General (OAG) of Seychelles has been admitted as a full member of the International Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), which is the global professional grouping of all Supreme Audit Institutions operating in some 146 countries. The INTOSAI provides professional and technical development assistance to its member countries in the field of government auditing. The INTOSAI has developed auditing standards (ISSAIs) and practice guidelines applicable to various audit methodologies; financial, compliance, performance, IT auditing, etc.

The National Assembly, Government and other key stakeholders have been demanding timely reports from the Auditor General. Hence, the presentation my first annual report in October rather than by the usual ‘December’ deadline.  More efforts are continuing to reduce the time taken to produce annual reports even further and, hopefully, to present them at the end of September each year. With this in mind, the twelve-month audit cycle has been realigned to run from August to July.

This report sets out the results of my audit of the financial statements of the Government for 2016 and various other audits undertaken during the audit cycle ended in August 2017. The report excludes the matters raised in the performance audit report and the special audit report presented to the National Assembly in May and July, respectively. The matters included in this report are selective as they are the matters being brought to the attention of the National Assembly as per my reporting requirements. I am pleased to note that many matters raised in audit management letters issued to Accounting Officers throughout the audit cycle have been dealt with satisfactorily and some of the remaining are not considered significant enough to feature in this report.

Press Release - Performance Audit report

Assessing the effectiveness of revenue collection by the Seychelles Ports Authority

The 7th performance audit report of Office of the Auditor General was tabled in the National Assembly on 23rd May 2017. The report assesses whether the Seychelles Ports Authority has been collecting revenue in an efficient and effective manner for the period January 2013 to December 2016.

The Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), previously known as the Port and Marine Services Division (PMSD), was set up in 2004 and is regulated by the Seychelles Ports Authority Act, 2004, and the Harbour Act (Cap 90). The Authority falls under the portfolio of the Minister for Tourism, Aviation, Port and Marine and it is headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The SPA’s vision is to continuously transform and sustain Port Victoria as a viable Maritime Hub, and their mission is to safeguard the maritime gateway to the Seychelles socio-economy by providing adequate and reliable port infrastructure and efficient services.  

The newly appointed Auditor General, Mr. Gamini Herath, took office on Monday (3rd April) following a short religious ceremony conducted by Deacon Agathine, Mr. R.B. Ekanayake and Imam Ahmed Labiche representing the Catholic Church, the Buddhist Association and Islamic community respectively in Seychelles.

(From right: Mr. Herath, Deacon Agathine, Mr. Ekanayake and Imam Labiche)

The representatives of all three denominations blessed the Auditor General and his staff urging them to serve the nation as a unified audit force despite their differences in culture, religion and language. The strength of unity in diversity underscored their peace messages.

Is the Ministry of Land Use and Housing efficiently and effectively managing residential state land?

The Office of the Auditor General (the OAG) submitted its 6th performance audit report before the National Assembly in December 2015, which was tabled on 1st March 2016. The report assesses whether the Ministry of Land Use and Housing has efficiently and effectively managed residential state land for the period January 2009 to December 2014.

The Ministry of Land Use and Housing (MLUH) is the Ministry designated to manage the sustainable use of land in Seychelles. Their mission is to facilitate the national socio-economic development through sustainable and efficient use of the country’s land resources for habitat, economic and social infrastructure needs through effective policy framework, regulations and provision of ancillary technical services to their clientele.

The Ministry should be commended for providing housing and land for the citizens of Seychelles at affordable prices. However, during the course of audit, the OAG observed a number of shortcomings throughout the land allocation process.

Assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of the provision of welfare assistance by the Agency for Social Protection

On Tuesday 9th December 2014, the Auditor General has laid before the National Assembly his performance audit report on the provision of welfare assistance by the Agency for Social Protection (ASP) for the period January 2009 to December 2013.

The Agency for Social Protection was formed in January 2012 following the merger of the Social Welfare Agency and the Social Security Fund and is mandated to “ensure the provision of comprehensive social security services and social relief against vulnerability within the constitutional and legislative framework of Seychelles”[1].

While the Agency offers statutory and non-statutory benefits to all Seychellois citizens upon meeting the relevant criteria under a particular benefit category, our audit was focused on the provision of non-statutory benefits, commonly referred to as welfare assistance. Non-statutory benefits comprise of medical benefit, supplementary income benefit and unemployment benefit.

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