Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Ernest Wilson
WILSON: In response to requests from the front office, the Director's Office, and other staff officers, or in response to concerns of the Controller, certain programs were scheduled for audit. After querying the mission, the staff prepared an audit plan for the year. It was presented to the Controller and the Controller in turn presented it to the front office. It was adjusted and finalized and we took off and started conducting the audits. We had a big program also in infrastructure, road building, farm to market roads, that sort of thing. We also had a large education program building and equipping schools.
Q: What was the focus of the audits?
WILSON: We financed a lot of the local costs of projects. We also provided a lot of commodities. The focus of the audits was to determine that adequate supporting documentation existed for the local costs that had been reported as having been expended on the project, and that commodities financed by the project had been received in a timely manner and promptly utilized for project purposes.
Q: What were the main issues that seemed to be a pattern across the various projects that you audited?
WILSON: Inability to document the receipt and utilization of commodities that had been financed by the project. The failure of the host government to maintain records that could adequately document the receipt and utilization of funds advanced for local cost financing. In short, by our standards, weak financial systems.
Q: What happened to your recommendations? What kind of recommendations did you make?
WILSON: If commodities could not be located or there was no documentation to support the utilization/disposition of commodities financed, recommendations for refunds were made. If costs that were not eligible to be financed were financed, we recommended refunds. The audit findings or recommendations were to be implemented by the technical office in charge of the project. We worked with them to try to resolve recommendations in a timely manner.
Q: Did you find people responsive to your recommendations?