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Auditor-general says information he wants from ombudswoman not in public domain (updated)

Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said his service wanted specific data for 2015 until 2018 for comparison purposes that will not be included in the ombudswoman’s annual report for 2018

Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said on Wednesday the information he was seeking from the ombudswoman was not available through her publicly available reports and he was waiting to see whether Maria Stylianou-Lottidou would submit it to parliament, as per its request.

The two independent state institutions have been engaged in a long-drawn-out spat over jurisdictions, with Lottidou refusing to give Michaelides certain data on the operation of her office that he had asked for.

Michaelides said Wednesday he has informed the attorney-general over Lottidou’s latest refusal to hand over the information and what remained to be seen was whether “the ombudswoman would at least respect parliament and hand over the information”.

On Monday, Lottidou once more refused to give auditors the data they wanted, arguing they can only carry out a financial audit of her office and not the administrative audit Michaelides wanted.

The ombudswoman said that in any case the data the auditor wanted were included in her annual reports.

Michaelides said his service wanted specific data for 2015 until 2018 for comparison purposes that will not be included in the ombudswoman’s annual report for 2018, which has yet to be published.

The auditor said the 2017 report does not include all the data they wanted, and no annual reports had been prepared for 2015 and 2016.

Lottidou was responsible for the preparation of the 2016 report while her predecessor was responsible for the previous one, he said.

Commenting later, Lottidou said she had never refused parliamentary oversight.

“As regards the fact that my predecessor had failed to submit an annual report for 2015 and 2016, questions arise why they had not been sought at the time by anyone and they are sought now, five years later,” Lottidou said.

The ombudswoman said the information concerning 2017 was already published while data on 2018 and 2019 will be at the disposal of the public when the reports were published.

 

 



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