Marshall Islands agencies attempt to block audits

2:23 pm on 26 August 2015

The Marshall Islands has experienced a new low in financial accountability as several government agencies have attempted to block access by the Auditor General to routine financial records required for audit.

Or they've simply refused to show up to meetings to discuss audit plans.

In a letter last week to the Speaker of the Marshall Islands Parliament, Auditor General Junior Patrick said his office had to resort to issuing subpoenas to obtain routine financial records or in one case to force a local government mayor to show up for an audit meeting.

In delivering his semi-annual report, he told the speaker that the problem of government officials not cooperating with financial accountability requirements is still ongoing.

He says his office is currently investigating five separate incidents in which a total of 35 checks belonging to national government, a semi-government entity, and a local government were found to have been forged or embezzled.

The latest audit report highlights numerous other instances of violation of laws and policies regarding use of government funding in different government offices.

The auditor says financial accountability problem it's the fourth consecutive year that the Marshall Islands government is late to complete its full audit.