Over one trillion kip of unauthorized state spending has been uncovered due to a 2015-2016 state budget audit.
Parliament has been notified by the state top auditor that more than one trillion kip of state spending has been spent without approval from the National Assembly (NA).
Funds had come from various sources, including revenue that state departments had collected but failed to relinquish to the state budget. Some funds were allocated for debt repayment but was spent for other purposes.
The 2015-2016 fiscal-year budget report from the government suggested that more than 30.545 trillion kip of state expenditure, 28.12 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), was spent in the fiscal year.
However, during the NA’s ongoing ordinary session, the President of the State Auditing Organisation (SAO), Dr Viengthong Siphandone informed the National Assembly that, “the SAO found that an additional one trillion kip was spent without approval from the NA.”
Of this unauthorized spending, more than 688 billion kip was spent by central state organizations, while the remaining estimated 342 billion kip was spent by local departments. In addition, the auditors also discovered that state departments collected more than 689 billion kip of revenue which was not disclosed to the state budget as required by law. More than 516 billion kip was collected by central state departments with the remainder collected by local authorities. Money was collected from taxes, state asset fees and other sources.
The 2015-2016 fiscal-year budget report suggested that the government had collected total revenue of more than 22.287 trillion kip, which accounted for 20.52 percent of GDP.
Though Dr Viengthong did not explain what the funds were spent on, she did confirm to lawmakers that the SAO found an additional 689 billion kip of revenue which was not passed on to the state budget. It was recommended that authorities in charge take action to claim back the revenue for the state budget.
To prevent unapproved spending in the future, the SAO President pressed on the need to fully observe financial discipline and resolutions of the NA regarding the state budget plan. In order to enable state departments to utilize money collected from their technical service fees for administration expenditure needs, Dr Viengthong recommended departments formulate plans that were accountable and seek approval from the authorities in charge.