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PAC sends back W/Province PS for failure to show proof of expenditureBy Sipilisiwe Ncube on 9 Nov 2018
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday sent away controlling officers from Western Province after failure to attach supporting documents for various expenditures.
Speaking when he and his team appeared before PAC to respond to audit queries cited in the Auditor General’s report for the financial year ended 31st December 2017, Western Province Permanent Secretary Sibanze Simuchoba kept on referring to documents which were not attached to his submission.
The permanent secretary was responding to queries surrounding the provincial administration expenditures and repeatedly indicated that receipts and disposal details for various stores were accounted for and that documents were ready for verification when in fact not.
Committee Chairperson Howard Kunda, however, noticed the omission of the supporting documents and asked the PS to pause and show supporting documents.
“Just on that PS, for us we take time to go through these documents that you submit and also whatever you have referred to, we would like to have it attached. So we can’t see the schedule five (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v). We can’t see those documents. Could you please just take us to where those documents are so that we can refer to them,” Kunda interrupted.
In response, Simuchoba said the documents were not included in the submission.
Before the PS could proceed with his submission, Kunda asked for a five minutes break to liaise with other committee members on how to proceed.
Soon after the break, Kunda guided that the hearing would not proceed without the missing documents.
“You know PS, we have gone through your submission and we are not able to relate. These schedules that you are referring to in your submission…for example from schedule four to schedule nine, we can’t see those schedules. So if you were not referring to these, we would not be concerned, but we have gone through and we have seen that some of these issues are very important for us to look at what you have done as compared to what you are saying in your submission, including the letters that you have written, some it’s 31st October 2018. So we would like to see those documents that you are referring to so that we can make informed decisions as we interact with you and to give the benefit to the people out there who are our masters,” Kunda said.
Kunda then sent away the controlling officer and asked him resubmit and attach all the cited documents on Wednesday 14th November at 11:00 hours.
“So based on that, we feel that you need to put your house in order so that when you are coming, you come with proper information that will relate you whatever you are saying. Then we can proceed and hear you but the way it is now, it’s very difficult. In fact some letters are referring to permanent secretaries from all the provinces including State House but we are not able to relate to what you are saying. What is it that you are talking about? for example State House PS is indicated here but we can’t follow. So let us have the way you have submitted but it should have all the documents that you are referring to because we are not following. So you will be required to come back on Wednesday next week at 11:00 hours so that you can come and give us the documentation or in fact you will need to submit to the secretariat those documents, put properly and referred to your submission. Having said that, you are free to go but we don’t expect that these issues will come back the way they are,” said Kunda.
About Sipilisiwe Ncube
Sipilisiwe Ncube is a Zambian journalist with a background in radio news.
Email: sipilisiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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