The objective of a financial statement audit is to express an opinion on whether the financial statements give a true and fair view of the financial performance of the audited organisation for the financial year and of its financial position as at the end of the financial year. The AGO has three departments carrying out financial statement audits: (1) Financial Statement Audit Department – Public Sector; (2) Financial Statement Audit Department – State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and Statutory Bodies (SBs); and (3) Financial Statement Audit Department – Consolidation, Debt and Revenue. Public Sector Financial Audit Department carries out financial statement audits of ministries and other Accountable Government Agencies (AGAs) while SOEs and SBs audit department conducts financial statement audits of SOEs, SBs and donor-funded projects. Consolidation, Debt and Revenue audit department is responsible for the financial statement audits of the main revenue collecting agencies, the consolidated financial statements of the government and public debt since the Auditor General is also entrusted with the responsibility of expressing an opinion on the consolidated financial statements of the government by the Audit Act 3/2007.
COMPLIANCE AND SPECIAL AUDIT
Compliance audit deals with the degree to which the audited entity follows rules, laws and regulation, policies, established codes, or agreed upon terms and conditions, etc. Compliance and special audit involves giving assurance on whether laws and regulations of the Maldives are followed by the Ministries, Independent Institutions and Local Government Authorities. Further, it also involves carrying out special investigation in cases where fraud and misuse of public funds is suspected while carrying financial audit. The findings of those audits will be reported separate from the financial audit reports and will be communicated to the President, Parliament and made available for public through AGO website.
Special audit involves detailed examination of issues related to serious allegation of fraud, corruption, wastage, misappropriation of assets or mismanagement of public resources, which are beyond the scope of wither financial statements audit, performance audit or compliance audit. The findings of special audits are often referred with evidence collected to the Anti-Corruption Commission or the Maldives Police Services either for further investigations or prosecution
International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) defines performance auditing as “an independent and objective examination of government undertakings, systems, programmes or organisations, with regard to one or more of the three aspects of economy, efficiency and effectiveness, aiming to lead to improvements”. In conducting performance audits the AG will ascertain whether value for money is achieved by public officials and institutions in their use of public resources. A performance audit will culminate in the AG giving recommendations for the improvement of systems, processes, and for the better management of public resources.
INFORMATION SYSTEMS (IS) AUDIT
While there is no single universally agreed definition of IS audit, Ron Weber, the author of the book entitled, ‘Information Systems Control and Audit’ defines the information systems audit as “the process of collecting and evaluating evidence to determine whether a computer system safeguards assets, maintains data integrity, allows organizational goals to be achieved effectively and uses resources efficiently”