News Column

Certification of State Accounts Under Discussion

July 7, 2014

Victorine Biy-Nfor

An exchange forum between members of the Senate Budget and Finance Committee and the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court held in Yaounde on July 3, 2014.

State accounts refer to accounting transactions of the State. Section 60 of the December 26, 2007 law on the financial regime of the State states that "Government accounts must be genuine and give a true image of its patrimony and financial standing." To this end, valid certification is indispensable to check distortions from corruption and embezzlement.

In 2011, the country embraced CEMAC certification directives which according to reports, have met with setbacks. The process is therefore in its infancy, reason why the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court had its first general account of the State, in the 2012 financial year and certification report of December 18, 2013. The report however notes that "the General Account of the State for the 2012 financial year as produced, is not suitable for certification."

It is in this framework that members of the Budget and Finance Committeeof the Senate and the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court met in Yaounde yesterday July 3, 2014 to exchange views on best practices on the effective implementation of result-based budgeting. The President of the Audit Bench, Marc Ombala Ateba, was optimistic that the exercise that has six years of experimentation was going to bear fruits especially as the Ministry of Finance has promised the implementation exercise continue gradually until they can finally come out with State accounts that can be certified.

To the President of the Fourth Division of the said institution, Justice Justine Wacka, the certification of the 2012 State accounts is an innovation which met with challenges, given that it is still at the pedagogic stage. She explained that the General State accounts have components like income and expenditure and the patrimony of the State which is all stumbling blocks to the process especially as the latter has never been included in the accounts of the State.

Budget and Finance committee members expressed gratitude for the forum which "clarified them on matters of misappropriated accounts of the general accounts of the State." Senator Dinga Ignatius Bayen noted that government is making efforts in order that the Finance Ministry and Parliament are able to present a credible financial situation that can be internationally accepted and exploited for the purpose of the country's result-based driven budget. The Secretary General of the Senate, Michel Meva'a M'Eboutou, sat through the opening of yesterday's forum.

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Source: AllAfrica

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