By our reporter
On Wednesday, it was reported that the Auditor General John Muwanga shortlisted top audit firms to investigate Bank of Uganda operations which led to the fraudulent takeover of Crane Bank.
The successful company will work with a team of forensic experts from the Office of Auditor General led by Forensics Director James Bantu.
However, it has been revealed that among the selected firms, three of them don’t qualify for the job due to conflict of interest having been clients of Bank of Uganda.
The listed firms include EY Uganda (a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited), Deloitte and Touche, Tomson & Company, KPMG and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (Pwc).
The three conflicted firms are Pwc, KPMG and Deloitte and Touche.
These firms were initially used by the Central Bank to audit the now defunct Crane Bank therefore they cannot audit their own client.
For example, BoU contracted Pwc to carryout forensic audit on Crane Bank.
BoU used the report as a basis to file a case against property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia.
The disputed forensic audit report which Sudhir lawyers, Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), have since called a draft document, was made by Pwc on November 13, 2014.
After realizing that Crane Bank was audited by KPMG from 2004-2007 and 2013-2015; Pwc in 2008-2010; Deloitte and Touche 2011-2012, sources say an independent foreign company should be outsourced outside Uganda to audit BoU.
It is worth noting that two firms; KPMG and Pwc have come under fire in other countries over shoddy works.
Early this year, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) banned all the firms in the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) network from auditing listed companies for two years.
In South Africa, KPMG LLP has been under increasing pressure over work done for the wealthy Gupta family, with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba calling on all government entities to review work with the auditing firm.
Late last year, an influential business lobby group suspended the company’s membership and the Governor of the Central Bank said it was concerned that KPMG’s internal standard controls weren’t of an acceptable quality.