Adequacy of Audit Office Act [Chapter 22:18] in the auditing of government finance in Zimbabwe
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This research assessed the adequacy of Audit Office Act in the Auditing of Government Finance in Zimbabwe. Objectives of the study were to assess the adequacy of regulating framework in government auditing, to assess the level of autonomy conferred by the Audit Office Act on the Auditor General, to assess the current state of audits, and to identify problems faced by the Auditor General The population was made up of officials in the office of Auditor General. Purposive sampling technique was used to select participants and the sample had 20 officials. It was found out that the Audit Office Act may be inadequate because of a number of factors. Firstly, the independence of the AG is “to some extent compromised” as the incumbent is appointed by the President in consultation with the Public Service Commission. It was held that Parliament should appoint the AG. The study found out that there were serious practices that infringe upon state economic interests like mass embezzlement of state assets, serious losses and wastes. The study noted that the AG can identify fraud and embezzlement but cannot take any action. It was also held that there has been a massive exodus of professionals in accounting field. This has resulted in Ministries failing to produce quality financial reports and within the stipulated timeframe. Consequently the Ministry of Finance is failing to produce the Consolidated Revenue Statement upon which audits are based. The researcher recommended that the legislature, instead of the President should take a leading role in the appointment of the AG in order to ensure the necessary independence of the institution and the incumbent. Furthermore, the AG tenure must be fixed constitutionally, not the current status quo where the President discretionally determines the fixation of the tenure. The Office of the AG should have its own system of staffing and remuneration. The AG should be given powers to recruit, appoint, promote and control discipline of officers who assist her in the discharge of her mandate. It was also held that the enabling legislation should be amended to include a provision which requires the Ministry of Finance to table in Parliament in a remedial plan of action.