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Lao auditors target 590 government units

The State Audit Organisation (SAO) has vowed to expose all inappropriate use of the State budget and sectors violating financial regulations and laws.

Over 590 target units have been defined for investigation and examination to be conducted by auditors in the next five years amidst multiple cases of financial faults have been reported in Laos in recent years.

According to the State Audit Organisation (SAO) recently, the organisation's plans for 2017-2021 include the audit of 100 organisations at central level, 200 target units at local level and the remainder being State enterprises and development projects. The SAO is committed to carry out their auditing mission in an in-depth and effective manner and ensure the quality of the investigation aiming to address all issues related to the inappropriate use of state budget. A senior auditor who asked to be anonymous told Vientiane Times on Friday that auditors are focusing on examining sectors related to revenue collection as well as how government sectoral organisations follow the relevant laws when spending the State budget.

Regarding revenue collection, the SAO targets sectors related to the collection of taxes, State service fees and State funds as well as the revenue from lands, State assets and State enterprises.

Concerning expenditure, the SAO targets State investment projects, the expenditure on administration works and debt payment.

Companies that followed laws while carrying out State investment projects, their projects will be added to the government's list for payment once those projects are completed.

Over the past years, the auditors have found trillions of kip which had been lost due to the continued violation of financial regulations by ministries, government agencies, and state enterprises.

From 2011-2016, the State Audit Organisation has examined 448 target units and found more additional 3.13 trillion kip which was not added to the national budget and additional and unauthorised expenditure of some 9.8 trillion kip.

On January 11 this year, the SAO unveiled its latest report, identifying more than 814 billion of revenue sourced from ta xes, State assets and State funds in 2014-15 fiscal year but those revenue has not yet been added to the national budget. This contributed partially to budget shortfall in Laos.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith addressed an annual auditing meeting in Vientiane earlier this year, citing the need to audit all sources of revenue collection and budget expenditure. The premier called for auditors to work harder and enhance their responsibility to fulfill their duties because financial leaks and the violations of financial principles are among the main causes leading the country into budgetary tension.

He recommended auditors to focus on various sectors including taxation, State assets, converting State properties into capital, land concession, revenue from selling timbers, State service fees and State funds.

By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update August 14, 2017)


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