Thursday, September 21, 2017

Checking defence spending not our job, says Auditor General

The Union Auditor General Office does not audit defence expenditures as it is under the Controller of Military Accounts, Union Auditor General U Maw Than told the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on Tuesday.

“According to section 39 of Union Auditor General Law, it is not related to the Ministry of Defence,” U Maw Than told the parliament when he explained about the findings of the Public Account Joint Committee on 2016-2016 budget.

MP U Aung Min, Vice Chair (2) of Public Account Joint Committee, also said that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is not included in the list of ministries to be audited by Union Auditor General Office according to the law.

“It is because there is a separate Controller of Military Accounts (CMA). So, while defence expenditures are mentioned in the budget submission, the Auditor General Office has no authority to audit those accounts.” he said.

CMA has offices in battalions and there are roving auditing teams to check the accounts, U Aung Min said.

“After auditing, CMA has to submit the report to Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services. That is why MOD didn’t come and explain today,” he said.

Daw Phyu Phyu Thin, MP from Mingalar Taung Nyunt township, said that details of defence budget increment in 2015-2016 were not found at Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on August 8.

MOD asked the parliament to raise the budget from 15pc to 16pc in 2015-2016 fiscal year, citing the need to spend more for perpetuation of the sovereignty and security of people’s properties and lives.

The Union Auditor General Law was enacted on October 28, 2010 during the term of State Peace and Development Council. It can be amended or repealed by Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.