National, News

Wondu seeks parliament’ support to have grip on own budget

By William Madouk


Auditor General for the National Audit Chamber (NAC), Amb. Steven Wondu, has called on the national parliament to grant the chamber the power to manage its own budget resources.

Mr. Wondu made the plea during a 2-day stakeholder engagement workshop with the public accounts committee and parliamentary specialized committees on Thursday.

According to the revised National Audit Chamber Act, submitted to the national legislative assembly, NAC should be like its peers around the globe that are sponsored directly through the consolidated fund as an independent entity rather than relying on the finance docket.

“The national audit chamber was created minus the independence. In simple terms, we have a national audit chamber without the power to manage the budget you give us,” said Wondu.

The Auditor general observes that funding the department from finance ministry contradicts its oversight role, it’s supposed to play.

“If Parliament decides to give the national audit chamber SSP 100,000 to do A, B, C, and D, and then you give the money to the minister of finance, you are giving a resource for oversight to the party on whom we want to have oversight,” he added.

He described the move as providing ‘a soldier with very nice brand-new guns without bullets in them and telling him to go and chase the enemy.

“You cannot do it. So, we need genuine empowerment,” he stressed.

According to Amb. Wondu, the ministry of Finance was their main target for auditing, and therefore it would be impossible for them to release the resources needed. He further appealed for support from the parliament.

“If it comes to you, please give us the authority to do our work and grant us the resources to deliver to you the information that you want. We don’t want to be given a title that is hollow and does not have muscle to get things done,” Wondu noted.

He also hinted that employees at NAC should be their responsibility and not the ministry of public services, adding that for the last 4 years they have not recruited a single new person amid bulky tasks.

For the last 4 years, we have not been able to recruit a single new person, and yet we want to grow. South Sudan requires a robust, active, regular force that can follow the resources up to county and Boma levels.”

Last year, Mr. Wondu lamented that the national accountability sector’s activities are strictly curtailed due to a low budget allocation that has not also been disbursed to the institution.


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