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Auditor General Steven Kiliona Wondu.

South Sudan’s Auditor says powerless amid runaway corruption

The Auditor General Steven Kiliona Wondu, says his audit reports remain piling up in dust before parliament as the legislative arm of the government has not taken action on them.

 Wondu was appointed by Presidential decree and the appointment was confirmed by Parliament on 7th February 2010.

“We are doing our work but we have challenges, we are being given responsibility but without instruments required to execute that, we do not get powers that we require to get our things done,” Wondu told The Juba Echo in an interview in Juba on Tuesday.

He said audit reports made by his office are supposed to reach the public through the parliament and the office of the President, but this has not been done for reasons beyond him.

“A lot of reports are sitting there in parliament and we have restraints as public servants. The law says the auditor general reports to the people of South Sudan through parliament and the President and so we have to maintain discipline,” Wondu said.

Wondu revealed the Bank of South Sudan, National Revenue Authority, Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority are toothless within the revitalized transitional government of national unity.

 “When we do power sharing, institutions that have a direct bearing on the management of financial resources of our country should be independent. We should not include those institutions into our calculations,” he said.

 “We want to have control of the budget that is given to us, if the parliament appropriates budget and the money is released to the ministry of finance and the ministry of finance is the body we want to audit,” Wondu said.

The Auditor General in 2021 raised red flag on the disbursement of funds under the International Monetary Fund’s Rapid Credit Facility provided to South Sudan in 2020.

Wondu said the funds totaling $52.33 million meant majorly for payment of salaries amid an economic setback caused by the COVID-19 pandemic were diverted toward individuals with no accountability.

The Auditor General then said there were, “ineligible payments amounting to USD 2,134,080 made to individual accounts and USD 849,830 irregularly spent on salary arrears from June 2019 to July 2020 in foreign missions.”

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