When AGO auditors ask for information for their audit, can auditees choose not to provide the information requested by AGO?
No. Information requested by AGO for audit within its legal mandate must be produced. The law (Audit Act) empowers the Auditor-General to have access to all information he requires for the discharge of his duty. If information requested for an audit is not released to AGO, the non-disclosure of information may be reported in the Auditor-General's report to the President and Parliament. The financial statements of the auditee, if affected, may also be qualified. Where an auditee has concerns on the release of a particular piece of information (e.g. highly classified information), he should explain such concerns in writing to AGO. Where appropriate, arrangements could be made to restrict access to the information to a more senior AGO officer, including the Auditor-General in person if necessary. The procedure for this is embodied in the "Protocol of AGO's Audit" issued to all ministries and statutory boards on commencement of an audit.
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