The newly appointed Auditor General, Mr. Gamini Herath, took office on Monday (3rd April) following a short religious ceremony conducted by Deacon Agathine, Mr. R.B. Ekanayake and Imam Ahmed Labiche representing the Catholic Church, the Buddhist Association and Islamic community respectively in Seychelles.

(From right: Mr. Herath, Deacon Agathine, Mr. Ekanayake and Imam Labiche)

The representatives of all three denominations blessed the Auditor General and his staff urging them to serve the nation as a unified audit force despite their differences in culture, religion and language. The strength of unity in diversity underscored their peace messages.

Is the Ministry of Land Use and Housing efficiently and effectively managing residential state land?

The Office of the Auditor General (the OAG) submitted its 6th performance audit report before the National Assembly in December 2015, which was tabled on 1st March 2016. The report assesses whether the Ministry of Land Use and Housing has efficiently and effectively managed residential state land for the period January 2009 to December 2014.

The Ministry of Land Use and Housing (MLUH) is the Ministry designated to manage the sustainable use of land in Seychelles. Their mission is to facilitate the national socio-economic development through sustainable and efficient use of the country’s land resources for habitat, economic and social infrastructure needs through effective policy framework, regulations and provision of ancillary technical services to their clientele.

The Ministry should be commended for providing housing and land for the citizens of Seychelles at affordable prices. However, during the course of audit, the OAG observed a number of shortcomings throughout the land allocation process.

Assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of the provision of welfare assistance by the Agency for Social Protection

On Tuesday 9th December 2014, the Auditor General has laid before the National Assembly his performance audit report on the provision of welfare assistance by the Agency for Social Protection (ASP) for the period January 2009 to December 2013.

The Agency for Social Protection was formed in January 2012 following the merger of the Social Welfare Agency and the Social Security Fund and is mandated to “ensure the provision of comprehensive social security services and social relief against vulnerability within the constitutional and legislative framework of Seychelles”[1].

While the Agency offers statutory and non-statutory benefits to all Seychellois citizens upon meeting the relevant criteria under a particular benefit category, our audit was focused on the provision of non-statutory benefits, commonly referred to as welfare assistance. Non-statutory benefits comprise of medical benefit, supplementary income benefit and unemployment benefit.

Press Release - Performance Audit report

Assessing the efficiency of the management of treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS

The Auditor General has laid before the National Assembly his performance audit report on the efficiency of the management of treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS on Tuesday 3rd December, 2013.

The Ministry of Health has been in the forefront in the national response to HIV and AIDS fight ever since the first HIV case was detected in 1987. Since the introduction of HIV testing in 1987, a cumulative of 542 (311 males and 231 females) HIV and AIDS cases have been detected as at March 2013.

Through its various health centres, the Ministry of Health offers a holistic approach to the services available for HIV and AIDS patients, which includes counselling, treatment and monitoring. These services are provided free of charge. In 2001, Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) was introduced for free in Seychelles and many HIV-infected individuals have accessed treatment. As at March 2013, the number of individuals on HAART stood at 190 (103 males and 87 females).

Press Release - Performance Audit report

Management of Police Vehicles: Is the Police Force obtaining value for money?

The Auditor General has laid before the National Assembly his performance audit report on the management of vehicles of the Seychelles Police Force on Tuesday 30th July 2013.

Transport is a key logistical support to the Police Force and plays a fundamental role in assisting the Force in delivering its services to the public. As a result, it is crucial that vehicles are available, well maintained, and appropriate to its needs. The report examined how economically, efficiently and effectively the Police Force was managing its fleet of vehicles, including hired vehicles as at 31st December 2012.

The Seychelles Police Force has an ongoing Strategic Plan for the years 2011-2015, which targets a “quality service to the public and its members by strengthening the force and reinforcing social partnership”. However, the Police Force does not have policies governing the management of transport which is still a challenge for them. Through interviews, we were informed that the ultimate target of the Police Force is to have a response time of between five and ten minutes in individual cases. We observed that there were no effective measures in place to monitor and analyse the performance in individual stations.

Press Release - Performance Audit report on the Public Utilities Corporation

 Effectiveness in managing the supply and distribution of water

The Auditor General has laid before the National Assembly his report on the performance audit of the Public Utilities Corporation on Tuesday 31st July 2012.

The report acknowledged the efforts of the Public Utilities Corporation in taking measures to introduce a more planned way of working. The PUC published its very first Water Master Plan (2008 – 2030) in May 2011. While being a good first step the plan covers too large a period and does not make provision for how the PUC will achieve the stated objectives nor does it cater for much needed strategic direction; this is a major weakness in a complex organisation which cannot be allowed to fail. The plan alone will prove to be an insufficient driving force, and will not ensure whether value for money is obtained. The PUC has not placed sufficient priority in assessing the business risks that it faces and thus no action plan was produced to manage and seek ways of mitigating those risks. Capacity building has been identified as another matter of concern within the PUC as the senior management is actively involved in, rather than overseeing operations because of shortages of staff in key positions with gaps in the structure and skill sets.

Press Release: Performance Audit Report of the Seychelles Tourism Board

The Auditor General has laid before the National Assembly his report on the performance audit of the Seychelles Tourism Board on Tuesday 20th March 2012

The Seychelles Tourism Board was established in 2005 and it has the key objective of marketing the Seychelles. Over the past five years, the Seychelles Tourism Board has received Government funding of nearly SCR 229 million. Tourism arrival numbers to the Seychelles increased by 11 per cent in 2011, when compared to 2010.

The Seychelles Tourism Board has operated without a formal strategic plan or measurable aims and targets since 2005. This absence of measurable aims and targets means that the Government, Members of the National Assembly and the public are not able to judge accurately the value of the contribution to tourism made by the Seychelles Tourism Board.

Operation without a formal strategic plan has resulted in the Seychelles Tourism Board being unable to gauge accurately its performance and identify weaknesses in its operations. With a focus on developing performance analysis, value for money could be improved significantly by targeting resources in areas where the greatest economic return can be achieved.

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