On Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies voted to look into a proposed draft law that will grant the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) more autonomy.
If passed, the law will give the AG powers to carry out, among other things, random value-for-money audits, special audits and investigations considered necessary and to hire private auditors.
The Office will also have the right to access all relevant documents and information and to obtain whatever explanations deemed necessary for the proper discharge of its duties.
As a country with zero tolerance for corruption, we need to devise effective mechanisms that will ensure accountability.
Previous reports by the Auditor General have indicated that billions of francs were unaccounted for, with a sizeable fraction believed to have ended up in individuals’ pockets.
The reports have also highlighted cases of illegal tendering, particularly institutions that release money for activities that were not originally planned for. While there has been general improvement in the management of public funds, thanks particularly to better accounting skills, some irregularities still exist.
But fighting corruption needs collective efforts by all the stakeholders. We all stand to gain, as a nation, when taxpayers’ money is spent appropriately.