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Mozambique not living up to donor countries’ expectations in the fight against corruption

The goals for a reduction in corruption in Mozambique have not been reached, although good groundwork has been done. The poor quality of accounting data and administrative data makes it difficult to measure the effect of budget support.  ‘Work on combating corruption must be closely monitored in the time ahead,’ says Auditor General Jørgen Kosmo.
Published 5/7/2009 1:04 PM

Doc No 3:11 (2008–2009) The Office of the Auditor General’s audit of general budget support for Mozambique was submitted to the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting, on 7 May. The audit was a collaboration between the Supreme Audit Institutions in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

The audit shows that, at the end of 2007, no judgments had been pronounced in corruption cases. A certain improvement was registered in 2008, however. Among other things, there have now been convictions in 31 corruption cases. Even though the authorities have put more effort into combating corruption, this remains one of the most challenging issues in relations between the donor countries and the authorities in Mozambique.

The audit also shows that, even though the quality of financial reporting has improved, it does not provide the donor countries with sufficient information about whether the accounts are correct. Among other things, only about a quarter of Mozambique’s national budget was registered via the direct payment function in the electronic accounting system e-SISTAFE. Nor are the capacity and competence of accounting personnel deemed to be adequate.

Information included in reports from donors’ annual reviews of the results achieved is partly based on administrative data. It is unclear, however, whether the donors and the authorities in Mozambique regard this information as sufficiently reliable. Little attention is devoted to the question of data quality by donors.

However, the audit shows that the donors and the authorities in Mozambique have established and introduced an extensive control system that provides relevant information for the donors’ follow-up. The audit documents that there are many working groups, and that, as a consequence, a great deal of resources are used by both the donors and the authorities. ‘We believe that the use of resources is in accordance with the purpose of the donor country cooperation, namely to reduce the costs relating to follow-up and control,’ says Mr Kosmo.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs agrees with the Office of the Auditor General’s conclusion that a foundation has been laid for combating corruption, but that clear results have so far failed to materialise.

The deferral of public access to documents prepared by or for the Office of the Auditor General in connections with Doc. no 03:11:00 (2008-2009), cf. the Act relating to the Office of the Auditor General section 18 second paragraph, is hereby set aside.

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