External Audit of the Tonga Audit Office: Call for Bids

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Position Title: Independent External Auditor
Entity: Tonga Audit Office
Report To: Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Date: August 2012

1. Background

The Public Audit Act 2007 places great emphasis on the accountability of the collection and use of public funds by government ministries, as performed by the Tonga Audit Office (TAO) under the supervision of the Auditor General.

As part of the management of the TAO, section 33 of the Public Audit Act 2007 provides for the annual audit of the Audit Office by an external audit agency. The Prime Minister of Tonga appoints the Independent External Auditor after consulting the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga and the President of the Tongan Society of Accountants.

In the pursuance of transparency, accountability and statutory compliance with the Public Audit Act 2007 an audit of the TAO by a competent external audit agency shall be carried out.

Interested parties are invited to submit bids to conduct the audit of TOA. Proposals could, at the discretion of the Government of Tonga, form the basis for a contract between interested parties and the Government of Tonga.

2. Purpose

The objective of the audit is to:

• conduct an audit and form an opinion on whether the TAO annual financial statements for the periods ended 30 June 2008, 30 June 2009, 30 June 2010 and 30 June 2011 fairly represents the TAO's financial position and service performance achievements in relation to the performance targets and other measures set out under Public Audit Act 2007;
• investigate and advise on the payment to the Auditor and/or audit staff of money claimed to be for overtime work and claimed not to be public money;
• provide a written report to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga outlining any issues identified during your audit (refer below);

Audit procedures should be designed to obtain reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatements, whether caused by fraud or error.

3. Reporting

In addition to the report (audit opinion) on the financial statements, the successful bidder will report to Speaker of the Legislative Assembly concerning any material weaknesses in important management control systems or any other important matters coming to your attention.

At the completion of each audit, the successful bidder will provide a written report to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly outlining any issues identified during the audit; in particular:

• providing assurance that the TAO has complied with significant legislative, applicable regulatory and policy requirements
• remain alert for, and report, significant instances where the TAO has failed to show due regard for matters of performance, waste and probity, and any significant conflicts of interest
• report on any significant events, business issues and trends that have occurred in the TAO during the audit period

4. Duties and Responsibilities

Develop and communicate an appropriate audit plan given the Purposes specified under section 2 and Reporting specified under section 3 of this call for bids. The audit plan must be approved by the Prime Minister of Tonga and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the President of the Tongan Society of Accountants prior to the commencement of the audit.

Execute the approved Audit Plan within the agreed timeframe to conduct the special review.
Liaise and co-operate effectively with the Auditor General and Tonga Audit Office staff members.

Conduct the audit with due professional care, in accordance with the laws of the Kingdom of Tonga and with International or applicable auditing standards.

The Independent External Auditor must have adequate expertise in public sector audit and attain adequate knowledge of the specific entity and areas under review.

Terms of Business

The Independent External Auditor has no executive role, nor does it have any responsibility for the development, implementation or operation of systems of the TAO.
As the Independent External Auditor of the TOA, it must follow the Independence requirements of the International Auditing Standards.

The Independent External Auditor must conduct the work objectively, remain impartial and be free of any conflict of interest.

The Independent External Auditor has rights of access to all Audit Office staff, records, information and assets which it considers necessary to fulfill its responsibilities.

"Confidential Information" means all non-public information or documents which either party receives or produces in connection with the Services. The Independent External Auditor must take appropriate steps to assure that such information is strictly safeguarded and must not at any time divulge any information in the course of undertaking its services or unless authorised by law.

The Independent External Auditor must not disclose confidential information about or belonging to the other without the full consent of the Auditor General, Prime Minister of Tonga and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga, collectively.

5. Intellectual Property

The report and other future work emanating from it shall be the property of the Government of Tonga.

6. Timeframe

To be determined and agreed. Timeframe of this special review will be based on the approved audit plan, nature of work and information required.

7. Professional Fee

Interested parties are to submit their proposed fee excluding Consumption Tax.
Any variations to the agreed fee must be agreed in writing by both parties prior to the additional costs being incurred.

8. General

Interested parties are to take time to read this document thoroughly before submitting their proposal.

Bids are to be received by close of business, 7 September 2012 and sent to the following address titled "Expression of Interest Tonga Audit Office Audit".

Prime Minister's Office

Ph: +676 24 644
Fax: +676 23 888


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