By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, April 2, 2012
According to the Moroccan daily, Les Echos, the government is resolute to take into account the recommendations listed in the latest yearly report submitted by the court of auditors. This declaration was made by the government’s spokesman Mr. Mustapha al Khalfi during a press conference last Thursday. He reiterated the government’s commitment to consider the court of audit report highlighting the pivotal role that this investigatory audit agency plays in fostering the concept of good governance.
The Moroccan court of Auditors is an autonomous institution in charge of controlling public finance processes. Its mission is clearly stated in the 148th and 149th articles of the constitution. The court of auditors is a check and balance institution that has a direct relation with the parliament as far as public funds management is concerned. It responds to the legislative institutions ‘inquiry regarding the government budget management by providing expertise and relevant data.
The regional courts of auditors are in charge of controlling public funds management in different regions. They are empowered with the prerogative to issues sanctions against officials accused of fraud.
Once the finance law is promulgated and approved by the parliament, the court of Auditors is expected to verify whether the law provisions are implemented in the management of public funds.
The Court of auditors’ mission has shifted from scrutinizing finance management to reinforcing new ethics in public funds management in terms of delivery, efficiency and environment.
Dr. Ahmed al Midaoui, the president of the court of auditors asserts that the current conjuncture requires a thorough control on public funds management with a special focus on the political parties’ financial assets used during electoral campaigns and assets declaration especially for high ranked officials who are constantly in touch with public funds.
According to the Moroccan daily Al MAssae, the court of auditors’ report for 2010 revealed serious cases of public funds squandering in particular regions and city councils, including financial scandals .
The same report revealed that officials in Tifelt city council were accused of squandering public funds that mount up to 217 400 Dhs through the reporting of “fictitious” projects. Other frauds include the misdirection of public funds to finance the same project twice. The report draws on the case of a project to build a mosque in Tifelt where millions of Dirhams were spent while the project is still in its embryonic stage.
According to the court of auditors’ report, many engineers and entrepreneurs in the planning of Mohammed V Avenue in the capital Rabat received their wages twice. One of the engineers received the amount of 300 million centimes while another one received 90 000 Dirhams to pave a venue not within his premises. In addition to colossal sums of money directed to cover “fictitious” travel expenses and water and electricity bills that mount up to one million dirham. In Marakesh, one of the region high ranked official used illegally public funds to pay the rent a house left at his disposal.
The court of auditors reported also that the revenues documents are often missing. For instance, the auditors noticed the absence of 111 records in the revenue department in Casablanca in addition to contracts and agreements to exploit sand quarries. The auditors expressed their astonishment during an inspection round in the urban community “Naima” in Oujda where they noticed the total absence of any paper based evidence on the city council’s expenses, revenues and public deals.
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