The Ministry of Finance has formed a new internal committee to act as a watchdog on the ministry and ensure that it acts in accordance with the law, the ministry’s deputy minister Dr. Maung Maung Thein yesterday announced.
Just as other government ministries, the MoF has internal audits and statutory audits carried out by the Auditor General’s office. The new internal audit body will assume responsibilities that extend those of the Auditor General.
Dr. Maung Maung Thein will spearhead the committee. Senior officers from the 11 total departments falling under the auspices of the MoF will serve on it.
The new internal audit committee will focus on assessing the MoF’s performance, whether the MoF is providing sufficient backing to banks and insurers and whether the MoF is acting under the law and relevant regulations. The committee will meet twice a month.
“The Auditor General will still check if there is fund misappropriation or embezzlement,” said Dr. Maung Maung Thein. “As pressure mounts over criticism of the MoF, we’re adopting more checks and balances and also monitoring the ministry’s performance.”
Both the public and MPs have decried the MoF in the past for widespread and open practices of bribery. More than 20 officials from the MoF’s Internal Revenue Department – including senior officers – were recently dismissed from the ministry for alleged corruption and ordered to pay back over 2 billion kyat ($200,000) back to the Union Government.
A senior official from the MoF told Mizzima anonymously that the officials were dismissed for tax evasion.