Burma’s Auditor General filed a report on Wednesday to the Union Parliament revealing his office’s findings concerning the misuse of funds by 15 government ministries during the 2011/2012 fiscal year.
The Union Auditor General Thein Htaik Oo during the Union Parliament session on Wednesday read out a report citing financial irregularities in union-level ministries.
“As important findings from auditing conducted from the 1st of April 2011 to 30th of September 2012, misusing, overspending and fraudulent proceedings of allocated budgets and revenues by the State in 15 ministries have been discovered,” the Auditor General told the parliament.
The report outlined 47 cases of budgetary lapses, resulting in the misappropriation worth tens of millions of US dollars. The Auditor General said the several responsible ministries must return the funds, which includes the Agriculture and Irrigation, Electric Power, Health and Hotel and Tourism ministries. So far, the concerned departments have returned about US$20.6 million.
As described in today’s Burmese edition of the New Light of Myanmar, the report also mentioned an embezzlement case that took place in the Ministry of Information’s New Light of Myanmar Press (NLMP).
More than 100million Kyat (an estimated US$117,600) in revenue was missing and the manager responsible for the oversight was sought for an explanation. The individual reportedly returned the revenue, however, no explanation was given detailing why the revenue disappeared in the first place.
The incident spurred an investigation into the publishing house that was launched in January. The probe revealed that three NLMP staff members, including the oversight manager mentioned above, had embezzled more than 300 million kyat (an estimated US$ 352,800) during the 2008-2009 fiscal year and the first six months of the 2011-2012 fiscal year. According to the New Light of Myanmar, the individuals responsible for the embezzlement were hit with charges in September.
“We would like to acknowledge that the three perpetrators of the embezzlement have been sought for effective legal action in accordance with Article-3 of the 1963 Law on Protection of Public Property,” read the report in today’s New Light. “In order to prevent losing the revenue that was involved, the individuals responsible have been ordered to compensate the amount in proportion, while unmovable assets of the three being prosecuted have been seized.”
While several experts predicted that the country’s new parliament would essentially rubber stamp laws, the legislator has proven its willingness to make emboldened moves that target other government branches. In September, the parliament effectively forced the justices on the country’s Constitutional Court to resign after the judges issued a ruling that limited the power of the legislator’s parliamentary committees.