Auditor's General Statement

The Auditor General can undertake special purpose audits (reviews/investigations) on his own initiative and/or at request from the President or the National Assembly as provided in the Constitution and the Auditor General Act. A special purpose audit looks at a particular issue, system, function, operation, scheme, project, programme or an organisation, either in isolation or in a transversal, cross-cutting manner. The rule of thumb used for selection of the subject matter is ‘does it matter to the public’. The purpose of a special audit is to provide objective information on the particular subject matter to those who seek that information. These reports often result in better decision making and positive differences in public institutions. The positive differences in turn result in better service delivery to the public through efficient public administration and cost savings through sound finance management, in other words, better value for the money. These processes help promote good governance, transparency and accountability.

This report follows a request from the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly. This report examines the implementation of the Seed Capital Grant Scheme undertaken by the Department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Development since 2017. Audit found that the Scheme had provided grants totaling some SR9.02m to 186 businesses over a period of two years. However, the working of the Scheme was fraught with some shortcomings putting in doubt as to whether the funds provided to grantees had gone into the intended purposes and the desired outputs and outcomes are being achieved. In the absence of a monitoring mechanism, it would appear that the Scheme is open to abuse by pretentious small entrepreneurs. The report makes some recommendations to improve the administration of the scheme. Although not subject to this audit, I urge the stakeholders to take a long hard look at the possible negative impact that this Scheme will have in the long run on the efficacy of the public service as it is actually open to public servants in full time employment to be engaged in running small businesses.

Gamini Herath
Auditor General

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