Muchinga MMD member of parliament Howard Kunda has asked the Treasury to speed up the process of reviewing the Financial Regulations and Stores Regulation Act to seal all the leakages in the management of public resources.
And Kunda says it is gratifying to note that the amounts of financial irregularities involved in the 2017 Auditor General’s Report has reduced compared to what was highlighted in the 2016 report.
Kunda said this in parliament, Friday, when he moved a motion for Parliament to adopt the report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the Auditor General on the accounts of the Republic for the financial year December 31, 2017, laid on the table of the House on Monday July 8, 2019.
“The Committee is conversant with the ongoing review of the Financial Regulations of 2006 and Stores Regulation of 1969 by the Treasury. The review is being done in order to make the regulations consistent with the Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 2018. Sir, it is envisaged that this would further strengthen the Public Finance Management Framework and would go a long way in sealing leakages and enhancing the prudent management of public resources. The Committee, however, contends that the review process is taking too long and is adversely affecting the realisation of the objectives of the Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 2018. The Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Treasury to speed up the process,” Kunda said.
And he said it was gratifying to note that the amounts of financial irregularities involved in the 2017 Auditor General’s Report had reduced compared to what was highlighted in the 2016 Report.
“Mr Speaker, the report of the Auditor General on the accounts of the Republic for the financial year ended 31st December, 2017, highlighted a number of accounting irregularities. It is gratifying to note that the amounts involved in some of the irregularities have reduced compared to what was highlighted in the 2016 Audit Report. Some of the accounting irregularities whose amount have reduced compared to 2016 are listed below: (i) misapplication of funds has reduced from K162,096,699 in 2016 to K61,657,450 in 2017; (ii) Unvouched expenditure has reduced from K170,554,478 in 2016 to K14,137,189 in 2017; and (iii) undelivered materials has reduced from K116,759,240 in 2016 to K1,486,558 in 2017,” he narrated.
However, Kunda said other accounting irregularities increased during the same period.
“Sir, on the contrary, other accounting irregularities increased during the same period and some these are: (i) unaccounted for funds, which has increased from K386,834 in 2016 to K31,200,930 in 2017; (ii) wasteful expenditure increased from K3,586,879 in 2016 to K7,865,395 in 2017…Sir, notwithstanding the increase in amounts involved in some of the highlighted irregularities, the Committee is confident that the enactment and implementation of the Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 2018, the amounts involved in the highlighted accounting irregularities will drastically go down,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kunda urged all controlling officers and government spending agencies and provinces to sensitize their officers on the need to adhere to the Public Finance Management Act and realize its objectives.
“In view of the foregoing, the Committee urges controlling officers in all ministries, provinces and spending agencies to embark on a robust programme to sensitize officers in their institutions on the Public Finance Management Amendment Act in order to realize its objectives,” said Kunda.