Bikini Atoll Local Gov. Audit: A+
From the Marshall Islands Journal: The local governments of the four nuclear affected atolls and Kwajalein were recognized in the latest RMI Auditor General’s report to Nitijela.
Auditor Junior Patrick said it has been difficult to audit the majority of local governments because most do not keep financial records. Patrick said the only local governments that have been audited in recent years are:
• Rongelap Atoll Local Government, FY2009 final audit issued
• Utrik Atoll Local Government, FY2009 draft audit issued
• Kwajalein Atoll Local Government, FY2007/2008/2009 draft audits issued
• Kili/Bikini/Ejit Local Governments (Claims Trust and Resettlement Trust
Fund only), FY2010 final audit issued
• Enewetak Atoll Local Government (food program only), FY2009 final audit
Aside from these five, no other audits of local governments were reported. The combination of the “inability of local governments to maintain appropriate accounting records and supporting documentation” and the lack of auditors prevented most from being audited. “Most local governments have ignored the established system of accounting that was previously developed,” he added.
An audit of Jaluit Atoll Local Government “was terminated due to inadequate documentation/records,” Patrick said. A planned audit of Likiep Atoll Local Government was not carried out “due to lack of staff and lack of reliable transportation.”
Looking ahead, Patrick said he wants to work closely with the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Finance to get local governments to comply with audit requirements. He also recommended looking at ways to centralize accounting for outer island local governments that cut costs and improve record keeping.