Auditor General Office
The Audit General (SAI Malaysia) is established under the constitution. Head of the SAI is appointed by Head of State. The Head of the SAI can be terminated on account of
- Inability from infirmity of the body and mind
- Any other clause that will hinder him to discharge properly the functions of Auditor General
The King may on the recommendation of the tribunal which comprises of not less than 5 members who hold or have held the office of judges of supreme court, which is formed on the advise of the Prime Minister.
The Head of SAI does not require any specific qualifications and there is no fixed tenure but an age limit has been prescribed. The various conditions of service of the Head of the SAI to secure independence are:
- Special procedure for appointment
- Fixed tenure
- Special procedure for removal
- Independence to frame workplans
SAI is responsible to report the findings to the King who will then cause the report to be tabled in Parliament. The relationship with others is "auditor- auditee" relation. SAI may be called upon for advice or clarification on matters of audit interest. SAI does not has financial independence. Independent evaluation on the programmes and activities of SAI is done by the Treasury. A unit under the Prime Minister's department is also responsible to conduct examination on the performance of the SAI.
The SAI's jurisdiction extends to following with no limitations
- Federal Governments
- Provincial and local governments
- Entities owned or controlled by Federal, Provincial and local governments and other entities owned or controlled by such government owned or controlled entities
SAI also has Jurisdiction over fallowing
- Regulatory bodies (e.g. Privatisation, Environment, Pollution Control, Telecom etc.)
The SAI has powers of requisitioning all records of the auditee departments/organisations to discharge its mandate as per section 7 of the Audit act 1957. The SAI does not have powers to enforce or initiate enforcement action to secure access to needed records which are not produced. The SAI has powers to seal and search documents and other related items considered necessary for audit and inspection. SAI has powers to seek testimonials of the persons concerned with audit and inspection as per section 7 (a) and (d) of the audit act 1957. It can seek co-operation of persons other than agencies subject to audit and inspection as per section 7 (a), (d), (e) and (f) of the audit act 1957.
The SAI has no powers to instruct government investigating agencies to perform activities considered necessary. The SAI accomplishes its requirements by notifying immediately the Secretary-General to the treasury on any serious irregularities concerning the accounting or custody of public moneys or public stores under his audit.
The SAI does not have powers to decide on claims of interested persons in connection with official actions, duties and behaviour of persons subject to audit and inspection. The SAI has the authority to dispense with, in whole or part, the audit of Federal, Provincial and local Governments accounts and other related matters. Private auditors have been appointed by the auditor general to carry out the audit of some statutory bodies and local authorities' accounts. The SAI does have powers to take punitive action and/or impose surcharges. The SAI has powers to access the computer systems of the auditees and download and use electronic data either in site or off site. The SAI has the powers to review the development of computer systems by the auditees and suggest controls. The SAI has a role in the appointment and supervision of the other external auditors engaged by auditees for meeting the statutory requirements and it can supervise and regulate their work.
Audit Procedures And Functions
The SAI prescribes Financial, Compliance and Performance Audits in its scope of Audit. The powers to perform these audits are mandated by section 6 of the audit act. The SAI conducts Special audit on performance /activities or new systems introduced. Special audits are mainly done according to what have been drawn up in the national plan. However, there are instances where requests are made by the central agencies/auditees for SAI to conduct such audit.
The SAI does not discharges judicial functions. The SAI is required to follow specific guidelines in conducting audit and reporting, it has its own standards and guidelines. The SAI can consult and/or collaborate with other countries/SAIs and international organisations on matters relating to audit eg. sending of officers for training abroad and engaging of consultants in system audit and audit sampling to assist in audit. The SAI can engage consultants and/or obtain professional services in conducting audit. The SAI reports on the acts that infringe upon State economic interests like mass embezzlements of state assets etc. The SAI requires that any fraud or embezzlement be reported by the auditees mandatorly but it does not have powers to oversee the ultimate disposal of such cases. SAI reports are presented to the King before it is tabled in Parliament. It follow ups to see the disposal or action taken on audit findings. The SAI can not share audit reports with public and media after the tabling of reports in the Parliament. It does not have powers to amend accounts of financial statement audits. It has no advisory role but the Auditor General is a member of several high level committee on financial management and national development. His involvement in these committees is to advise or give opinion on matters of audit interest.
SAI is constituted as an audit office with monocratic status i.e. with an Auditor General or equivalent as head. SAI is empowered to engage external auditors/agencies/consultants as required.
Administrative Functions And Miscellaneous
The SAI can not expend resources budgeted independently but it has full independence in forming its workplan. Recruitment and conditions of service of audit and other staff are determined by public service commission. The SAI is not subject to an independent audit. The SAI is not required to submit a report on its activities.