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Laos uncovers billions in revenue, unapproved spending

Publication Date : 07-01-2014


The State Auditing Organisation (SAO) has uncovered more than 449 billion kip (US$56 million) as additional revenue after auditing 73 state organisations, banks and enterprises as well as state investment projects.

SAO President Viengthong Siphandone revealed the findings of the audit for the 2011-2012 fiscal year's budget implementation plan at a press conference yesterday.

Auditors also found more than 4,242 billion kip was spent without approval from the National Assembly.

According to the audit report, state spending for the 2011-2012 fiscal year reached more than 19,115 billion kip, while just over 17,263 billion kip was collected as revenue.

Yesterday's media conference took place after Viengthong presented the audit report to the National Assembly last month.

The report disclosed that many state organisations and enterprises infringed the financial regulations including authorising spending without the parliament's approval.

In addition, some state organisations are holding two separate bank accounts, which resulted in problems such as the fact not all revenue collected from technical services and timber sales by state bodies has flowed into a centralised account, as required by financial regulations.

In this regard, the parliament, in its ordinary session last month, resolved that those state organisations that breached the financial regulations

in the 2011-2012 fiscal year will have to make an additional contribution of more than 389 billion kip into revenues for 2014-2015.

The additional 389 billion kip should be collected from professional and technical services provided by those organisations, but grants and other mobilised funds will not be recognised as contributions.

The parliament described the breaches of the financial regulations as a ‘chronic problem' and expressed concern over the issues, calling for the government to take measures to punish those in question.

The NA asked the the SAO to work with the Ministry of Finance to take follow up action towards addressing these issues in line with the eight measures drawn up and presented by the SAO.

Viengthong told the yesterday media conference that those who infringe the planning and financial disciplines will face measures in accordance with Article 70 of the Law on State Auditing.

“The SAO will treat each individual case found in each fiscal year's audit based on the regulations,” she said, referring to punitive measures to be imposed on the violators.

Viengthong admitted that the auditors have struggled to complete their work assignment, saying that the SAO has insufficient personnel to carry out and finish the annual workload.

In addition, cooperation from those state bodies to be audited was not done in a quick manner, which slowed the work of the auditors. She said there were various reasons why the SAO completed auditing only 73 state organisations, which represented only 90 percent of the annual plan.

US$1 = 8,027.74 kip



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