The Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Eric Molale has called on government to increase funding for the Auditor General (AGĺs) to deter corruption.
Molale said that audit visibility is a major deterrent to acts of fraud and corruption. When presenting the department’s proposed Budget in Parliament this week, the Minister said “increased audit coverage is therefore imperative in order to dissuade those charged with the custody and use of public resources from any acts of malpractice, fraud and corruption”.
He said with the Government expenditure increasing every year, malpractice and corruption could also increase.
“Government expenditure has over the years grown, hence the need to increase resources for the AG to widen the audit coverage particularly in the outstation offices,” he said.
Molale said the AG has struggled with travelling and transport vote, which has proved inadequate to fund all necessary audit trips resulting in the office redirecting other votes.
“Last year I reported that the AG had to vire funds from some other votes to augment the Travelling and Transport (Internal) vote which had proved inadequate to fund all the necessary audit trips.”
The Minister proposed an overall departmental Budget of P61,923,270, which represents an increase of 15% over the 2016/2017 financial year.
The AG was allocated P53, 773,370 in the previous financial year. However, Molale proposed an unchanged budget of P3,936,440 for Travelling and Transport to cover internal costs for transport subsistence, hire charges, and petrol, oil and lubricants for vehicles.
He also asked Parliament to allocate P1,800,000 for external travelling to help facilitate the AG to fulfill her regional and international obligations as a role player in the global practice of public sector auditing.
He further said the funds will also be used for regular monitoring of Botswana missions abroad for compliance and prudent use of financial resources disbursed to them.