The Registrar of Political Parties today met with the President of the Fiji Institute of Accountants [“FIA”], representatives of the Office of the Auditor General and members of the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption to discuss the compliance with the Political Parties Act in terms of disclosure of Political Party donations and the audited accounts.
In explaining the meeting, Mr Saneem said: “it is necessary following the extensive verification of political party accounts that the relevant institutions that specialize in these areas meet with the Registrar and we develop a framework to assist Political Parties to adequately declare their accounts and disclosures and at the same time, provide some
guidance to auditors as they undertake the independent audit of political party accounts”.
At the meeting, the institutions discussed various options that are available including the option to conduct training for auditors and political parties and to further develop a specific Independent Audit of Political Party Accounts Framework to allow auditors to have a reference point when it comes to auditing the accounts for relevant political parties.
The Registrar states: “very soon the Registrar will enter an MOU with FIA, to develop the guidelines for auditors when it comes to the auditing of Political Party accounts and to also provide necessary checklists for accountants who prepare the Political Party financials that are eventually audited”.
Mr Saneem further commented that the major issue that FEO has found for most of the political parties is the failure to issue receipts for monies that have been deposited into their bank accounts or received by them directly at their offices.
“There is a failure to maintain proper accounts by virtue of not issuing receipts and this results in failure to reconcile the monies that are ultimately received by the Party in relation to expenditure,” Mr Saneem said.
“Until now, auditors have been auditing the accounts but it appears that more attention needs to be paid in particular to ensure that monies received by the Party are properly documented and qualified into the accounts after which they are spent.”