Unity Govt Asks to Create Economic Crime Court

South Sudan National Auditor General, Steven Wondu speaking during finance management validation workshop in Juba, 30 Nov 2020

The National Audit Chamber has called for establishing an Economic Crime Court [ECC] in South Sudan to trails those accused of corruption.

The concern was raised during the review of the South Sudan Audit Chamber law. National Constitution Amendment Committee is conducting a series of the constitutional review process as mandated by the revitalized peace agreement on the resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan – R-ARCSS. 

The committee validating the public finance management and accountability act 2011.

Article 55 and article 85 within the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, the chamber’s mandate is to set auditing standards. Audit the accounts of states, local government, public institutions, and supervise all entities’ financial performance, including revenue collection and expenditure approved by the legislature.

The Auditor-General, Steven Wondu, said there was rampant corruption in South Sudan. The formation of an economic crimes court will help curtail the embezzlement of public funds. 

He stated those who are misusing public funds should be disciplined per the law. “Taking people to court for the crimes they have committed is solutions for public reform once the Audit Chamber and Anti-corruption Commission have identified them.”

“Everybody in this country, including the head of state, is complaints laundering about grasp, about corruption, misused of money, and abuse of power. Everybody has got this; it is no longer secret. We in the audit chamber do auditing, but there are certain things we are not even required because things are done so presently which require law enforcement instead of audit,” said Wondu.   

Mr Wondu appealed to the review committee to have significant input not based on maintaining the status quo or weakening the institution. 

“If you are making changes to maintaining status and you are making changes to weaken the audit chamber, you are not living up to your responsibility. Your responsibility is to reform the law such that the institution is strengthened. The independence of side institution is the best mechanism to ensure public resources are used a way that public outcome is optimized,” Wondu  stated. 

The Chairperson of Revitalize Monitoring and Evaluation Commission Maj. Charles Tai Gituai appreciated the amended law to facilitate reform in the public fiancé management sector and ensure cleansed for transparent and accountable management of national wealth and resources.

“The two legislatures that to be validated that today are the bedrock for ensuring transparent and accountable management to public finance and resources in this country. If the reforms are fully implemented, they will contribute to improvement in public finance management, good governance, better services delivery and utilization of resources,” Tai said

According to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International, South Sudan is ranked 179 corrupt nation out of 180 countries globally.

 

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