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Cyprus

UK audit office to advise Cypriot counterparts

Photo: CNA

Officials from the British Audit Office are in Cyprus following an invitation by Cypriot counterpart to assess its procedures and propose improvements, Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said.

Addressing an event organised by the Association on Social Reform (Opek) in Limassol on corruption in public life, Michaelides said that the audit office had many flaws as per the findings of the first ever self-evaluation it conducted since 1960.

The evaluation revealed many weaknesses that are not new, but had been “swept under the rug”, Michaelides said, and “which we set out to rectify”.

He added that the service is in the process of modernising its audit instructions and towards this end, they invited the British Audit Office to evaluate their procedures. The UK delegation began work on Monday “to convey their best practices to our own service.”

As regards corruption, Michaelides said that the state ought to promote a number of legislative measures to clamp down on such incidents.

He stressed the importance of promoting and reinforcing ethics. Nepotism and cronyism are not always accompanied with bribe, he said.  “If we did a survey in society, we would find that everyone may at some point in their lives has exercised nepotism and this is a sign of the need to strengthen moral ethics”.

This he said, could be achieved through educating society, by introducing courses in schools, and by drafting and implementing, where possible, ethical rules.

The existence of a written code of ethics is a necessary background for disciplinary measures and the prosecution of offenders, Michaelides said.

 

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