Responsibilities and powers of the Auditor General are laid down in the Constitution and the Audit Act. Pursuant to Article 212 of the Constitution, the Auditor General is responsible for auditing and reporting on financial statements of the following entities:
• all government ministries, departments, offices and agencies;
• all offices and organisations operating under the legislative authority;
• Independent Commissions and Independent Offices established in accordance with the Constitution and law and all offices operating under the same; and
• all offices and organisations operating under the judicial authority.
In addition to auditing and reporting on the financial statements of the above entities, the AG also has a mandate to report on the financial management of the audited entities and has the power to conduct audits of institutions and organisations required to be audited by law. According to the Constitution, the AG also has a discretionary mandate to audit any institution primarily funded by the State and any business entity in which the State owns shares.
While the Constitution is silent on the AG’s power to conduct performance audits, the Audit Act 2007 gives the AG the discretion to conduct performance audits of the following entities:
• ministries, departments, government offices and other government institutions;
• state-owned enterprises and business entities in which the government holds a controlling interest; and
• government trusts or trusts under the care of the government
Currently AGO carries out the following types of Audits:
• Financial Statement Audits;
• Compliance and Special Audits;
• Performance Audits; and
• Information systems (IS) Audit
While the conduct of audits forms the bulk of the work carried out by the Auditor General to discharge the legal mandate, the AG has also been assigned responsibilities other than conducting audits of financial statements by the Audit Act and various other acts of Parliament. Audit Act 2007 makes it mandatory upon the Auditor General to promulgate auditing standards and prescribe standards of best practice governing the audit in the Maldives. In addition, section 5(j) of the Act also gives the AG the power to issue and cancel audit licenses of private auditors and to set rules and regulations governing the issuing and cancellation of audit licences of private auditors.
Pursuant to Articles 120 and 138 of the Constitution, the President and each of his cabinet members shall submit a statement of all property and monies owned by them, business interests and all assets and liabilities to the Auditor General. In addition, members of some independent commissions are required by the Constitution to submit the same to the Auditor General. While the Constitution and law do not assign any specific responsibility to the Auditor General as the regards the asset declarations submitted by public officials, the implicit assumption is that the AG has to vet these based on certain criteria. Therefore, vetting of asset declarations is included as part of the AG’s responsibilities