The Office of Auditor General was established before Malawi became independent. Article 79 (4) of the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland mandated the Auditor General of the Federation to submit his report on the public accounts of Nyasaland Protectorate (now Malawi) to the Legislature Council. During that period the Colonial Regulations empowered the Auditor General to audit and inspect all public accounts of Government.
After Malawi attained its independence in July 1964, the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was replaced by the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. Section 85 of the new Constitution empowered the Auditor General to submit his/her report to the National Assembly through the Minister of Finance. During that time the Finance and Audit Ordinance 1963 replaced the Colonial Regulations that stipulated the rights and duties of the Auditor General. The Office of the Auditor General was also changed to Audit Department. According to the Finance and Audit Ordinance 1963, the Auditor General was required to submit his report to the National Assembly through the Minister of Finance annually not later than nine months after the closure of each year.
The Finance and Audit Ordinance 1963, was revised to the Finance and Audit Act No. 44 of 1966 and came into operation on 1st January, 1967. In terms of Section 35 of the Act, the Auditor General on behalf of the National Assembly was required to examine and enquire into and audit the accounts of all controlling officers and receivers of revenue and all persons entrusted with the collection, receipt and custody or disposal of public monies and stores. The Auditor General was under Section 43 (1) of the Act, required to submit his report to the Minister of Finance who in turn was mandated to table the report to the National Assembly in line with Section 44 of the Act.
The Audit Department was led by the expatriates until 1977 when the first Malawian Auditor General, Mr. G.G. Kukada, was appointed. Due to several Constitutional reforms that took place, the establishment of the Office of the Auditor General which was under Section 85 changed to Section 184. Constitution requires him/her to submit his /her report to parliament through the Minister responsible for Finance. As indicated earlier, the audit of public finances of Malawi were provided in the Finance and Audit Act. It was however observed that the audit provisions in the Finance and Audit Act were largely outdated and did not reflect the Government’s audit policies. The Government therefore decided to introduce the Public Audit Act in 2003 so that modern trends and international best practices are reflected. Consequently the Public Audit Act was dedicated to public audit practice. The enactment of the Public Audit Act No.6 of 2003 separated the Office of the Auditor General from the Ministry of Finance. Under the Public Audit Act the Auditor General is required to submit his/her report to the Speaker of Parliament.
From 1977 when the first Malawian Auditor General was appointed, National Audit Office has enjoyed the leadership of the following Auditors General:
- Mr. J.N.T Mpambachulu
- Mr. M.B Kamphambe-Nkhoma
- Mr. G.B Chiwaula
- Mr. H.B Kalongonda
- Mr. R.A Kampanje
- Mr. S.D.L Kamphasa