The latest Auditor General’s report has revealed that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing misapplied K14,643,918 out of the K38,688,659 allocated to 27 constituencies under the Constituency Development Fund.

The Auditor General reported that CDF was misused in various districts.

“An examination of accounting and other records carried out at the ministry headquarters and 35 selected districts in May/June 2016 revealed that there were weaknesses in the way Constituency Development Funds (CDF) were managed by Local Authorities. Among the weaknesses identified were failure to spend allocated funds, delayed completion of projects, poor workmanship and poor accountability for materials and unauthorised retention of interest,” The Auditor General reported.

And the report revealed that K161,011 was overspent by two Local Authorities without approval from their respective councils to do so.

“During the period under review, two (2) Local Authorities approved six (6) projects in amounts totaling K620,400. It was observed, however, that amounts totaling K781,411 were spent on the projects resulting in an over expenditure of K161,011. However, as of July 2016, there was no documentary evidence such as variation authority to show that authority was sought from the Council to spend over and above the approved amounts,” the report reads in part.

The report also revealed that there were several payments which were made without authority from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority while other payments were not even approved by controlling officers.

“Contrary to Procurement guidelines, various items costing K193,292 procured at Kabompo District Council were purchased without either obtaining three competitive quotations or authority from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to single source. And contrary to Financial Regulation No. 48, twenty-three payments in amounts totaling K691,780 made during the period under review were neither approved by the controlling officer nor any other authorised officer,” the Auditor reported.

Further, the report revealed that “contrary to Financial Regulation No. 52”, thirty payments in amounts totaling K709,323 made by three Local Authorities on behalf of four constituencies during the period under review, were not supported with relevant documentation such as quotations, receipts, stage, completion certificates, among others.

And the report further revealed that there was an over-expenditure of about K161, 011 by two Local Authorities.

“During the period under review, 18 local authorities covering 27 constituencies which had brought forward balances totalling K26,088,659 had also received 2015 funding in amounts totaling K12,600,000 bringing the total funds available for expenditure in 2015 to K38,688,659. Out of the total funds of K38,688,659 available for expenditure, amounts totaling K24,044,741 were spent leaving K14,643,918 as unspent funds as at 31st December 2015,” the report read in part.

“Consequently, 34 projects in eight local authorities that were allocated amounts totaling K4,387,536 had not been implemented as of December 2016.”

The report further revealed that 17 unapproved projects in Solwezi District of North Western Province were funded along with nine nonoperational ones in Chilanga.

“Contrary to CDF Guideline No. 7, which states that ‘only projects which have been appraised and approved by the Council shall be funded’, it was observed that seventeen (17) projects that were not approved [in Solwezi], had been funded amounts totaling K152,125. Meanwhile, amounts totaling K91,589 were approved and funded to finance the nine (9) community empowerment projects such as chicken rearing, peanut butter making, tailoring and block making in Chilanga. However, a visit to the projects carried out in October 2016 revealed that all the projects were non-operational,” reported the Auditor.