NAO addresses shortcomings in public accounts within Government departments
In its annual report about public accounts in Government Departments for the past year, the National Audit Office made 230 recommendations which address shortcomings that have been identified. The NAO recommends improvements in internal control systems with the aim of tackling areas where there is a lack of conformity with regulations.
The NAO examined various sources of income and expenditure relating to Government departments and entities, to see whether everything has been carried out according to Government financial regulations, among other issues.
The NAO observed that the Valletta Foundation 2018 was not following purchasing rules. It added that the foundation had often not retained the relative documentation.
The auditor stated he had not found any stock inventory in stores falling under the Gozo Ministry’s responsibility.
The National Audit Office noted that the agency responsible for the Citizenship Investment Programme still does not have a technological information system to manage applications and facilitate its functions. The same was observed for the Pharmacy of Your Choice scheme, and the auditor pointed out that on the administrative side this scheme lacked human resources.
It was also noted that the Health Centres are not fitted out adequately for the European Union Health Scheme.
Shortcomings in internal control in connection with the collection of fines were noted at the Law Courts. It results from the report that the audit for capital expenditure at the Manoel Theatre identified serious shortcomings of governance.
The examination was carried out of contracts between the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity and non-governmental organisations offering social services in the community. An audit was also carried out on provision of beds purchased by the Health Ministry for patients requiring long-term treatment.
It was noted in the NAO report that up to the end of last year, Government debt reached 45.8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, this being 4.5% less than for the previous year.