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MBABANE – If the opinion of acting Auditor General (AG) Muziwandile Dlamini is anything to go by, then government’s financial accounting is a sorry sight.

System and human error have been blamed for failure to reconcile government’s bank accounts, resulting in huge sums of money not being accounted for. This has resulted in government having an incorrect cash flow position. Dlamini, in the Auditor General’s report for the financial year ended March 31, 2017, listed a litany of problems he uncovered in government’s accounting records.

He highlighted some of these as follows: “Bank balances were misstated by E7 528 772 278.72 due to non-reconciliation between the government cash books and bank statements. Some bank balances were overstated by E2 285 935 191.93 and other bank account balances were understated by E5 242 837 086.79 thus reflecting an incorrect cash flow position of the Government of Swaziland at year end.”
The acting AG also reported that balances in the Detailed Statement of Liabilities were reported as debit entries amounting to E9 336 866 428.44 and credit entries amounting to E10 627 852 013.70 therefore offsetting each other, resulting in a misstated balance of E1 290 985 585.26.

“Proper accounting requires that liabilities should have credit balances and contra balances are regarded as assets. Normally, assets and liabilities, and revenue and expenses, should not be offset unless required or permitted by accounting standards,” Dlamini reported.
Further, he has stated that the statement reported liabilities that were not supported by source documentation and reliable confirmation, that the Government of Swaziland had a present obligation, arising from past events, the settlement of which was expected to result in an outflow from government’s resources, embodying economic benefits.

“I was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence about these liabilities because I was deprived of source documentation and information which led to their classification as a present obligation,” continued the acting AG.
He also noted another major anomaly in that revenue amounting to E766 372 060.67 that was received in the year was not disclosed in the Government Accounts.
Also, Dlamini said he did not observe the counting of physical inventories of the drug trading account at the beginning and end of the year.

He said he was therefore unable to satisfy himself by alternative means concerning the inventory quantities held as at March 31, 2017, which are stated in the Statement of the Drugs Trading Account as E95 887 834.76. “I observed that there was excess stock amounting to E36 284 838.70 which was not reflected in the Government Accounting System but was reflected in the Trading Accounts as a surplus,” he said.


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