Uganda Leads Efforts in Extractives Industry Auditing Top story

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In short
The absence of global guidelines and manuals for auditing the oil, gas and minerals have been singled out as one of the challenges for national audit offices also known as Supreme Audit Institutions to track costs and expenditures in the industry.

Uganda's visible lead on auditing the extractives sector may result in the first global standards for auditing oil, gas and minerals sector.

This is evidenced by the appointment of Auditor General, John Muwanga as Chair of the working group on the audit of Extractives Industries (WGEI) which has developed draft guidelines and manuals for auditors in oil, gas and mineral rich countries.

It is also working on policies that will enable country audit bodies or Supreme Audit Institutions access information on oil, gas and minerals for audit.

The absence of global guidelines and manuals for auditing the oil, gas and minerals have been singled out as one of the challenges for national audit offices also known as Supreme Audit Institutions to track costs and expenditures in the industry.

Joseph Hirya, Director of Audit at The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) says Uganda has equally faced a challenge in auditing the relatively young oil and gas sector because of the absence of auditing guidelines and manuals for the sector.
 
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Globally, five billion people are estimated to be living in resource rich countries which now include Uganda.  The extractive industry which constitutes the oil, gas, and mining industries, is believed to be generating about US Dollars 3.5 trillion in annual gross revenue worldwide or about 5 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Bodies like the Working Group on the audit of extractive industries have come up to advocate for policies that will ensure that offices like that of Auditor General in Uganda can have an oversight over national institutions charged with collecting revenues from the extractives.

Such audits, according to Hirya, are quite important for a country like Uganda especially in the area of cost recovery given that the extractives industry in Uganda operates under production sharing agreement (PSA) regimes.
  
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It is believed that strengthening the Office of the Auditor General or Supreme Audit Institutions in oil, gas and minerals sectors can increase transparency and oversight in the industry.

As part of the efforts, Uganda has just hosted a week-long extractive industries training in Kampala aimed at building capacities of Supreme Audit Institutions in the audit of the extractives industry.

The training under the theme; "Enhancing the audit of extractive industries: Risks and Mitigation" drew participants from Iraq, Kenya, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia.  Other participants were from South Africa, Botswana, Libya, Sudan, Ghana and Uganda.

Keto Nyapendi Kayemba, the Assistant Auditor General in charge of Audit, who presided over the closing of the training on Friday, said the development of auditing guidelines and policies will greatly help the public sector in countries with resources like minerals and oil and gas.
 
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The draft guidelines are expected to be discussed at the next Working Group on the audit of extractive Industries (WGEI) meeting scheduled to take place in Washington next week.