Today, the Auditor General, Charles Deguara, presented to the Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr Anglu Farrugia, the Annual Audit Report on the Public Accounts for 2018. It comprises 29 reports on the operations of several Government departments and entities. This Report also includes an analysis of the Financial Report 2018, as well as an overview of the Statements of Arrears of Revenue, as submitted to Treasury by the respective departments and entities.

The National Audit Office has judiciously analysed the level of compliance of various expenditure and revenue items with prevailing rules and regulations. The Report also contains 230 relevant recommendations which, if implemented by the respective Government department or entity, will address the shortcomings identified during these audit assignments and thus promote good governance and best practice in Government operations.

The main shortcomings identified are essentially the following:

• Bypassing of procurement regulations, often accompanied by a lack of source documentation was undertaken quite frequently by the Valletta European Capital of Culture 2018 Foundation. Stocktaking records were also not available at the Stores falling under the responsibility of the Ministry for Gozo. Moreover, consular services, as reported by the Maltese High Commission in Canberra, lacked backing documentation.

• Weaknesses in internal control procedures were prevalent at the Courts of Justice in so far as the collection of revenue from fines due. An audit on capital expenditure incurred by the Manoel Theatre identified serious corporate governance issues.

• Lack of integrated information technology systems necessary to enhance efficiency and reliability of operations, including revenue collection, was evident during reviews of the Pharmacy of Your Choice Scheme and the Individual Investor Programme.

• Insufficient verification and enforcement procedures were identified during a review of expenditure on Public Social Partnership agreements entered into by the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity and on the provision of Long Term Medical Beds acquired by the Ministry for Health.

To view report (.PDF) please follow link.

AR2018