Ministry of Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary (PS) Reverend Howard Sikwela has called on directors and heads of statutory bodies at his Ministry to follow procedure when executing institutional mandates in the year 2019.

In a statement issued by Ministry of Tourism Public Relations Officer Sakabilo Kalembwe, Rev Sikwela stated that shortcuts should be avoided by officers when dealing with procurement processes as this will hold him accountable with his superiors, and eventually at the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

Reverend Sikwela warned that civil servants under the Ministry will face penalties for failure to comply with institutional mandates this year.

“Speaking at Government Complex this (Monday) morning when he officially opened a workshop on various legal and policy updates for his Ministry, the PS said punitive measures will be applied, not only to controlling officers, but also body members who will not follow rules,” Kalembwe stated.

“He said there should not be any shortcuts in procurement processes as he will not hesitate to punish any defaulting officers as he, as PS, will also not be spared by his superiors if he is found wanting.”

Reverend Sikwela additionally stated that contracts will be signed once his office and procurement clears with the Accountant General and Attorney General.

“Reverend Sikwela said his office and procurement will now not be allowed to sign a contract before that contract is cleared by the Accountant General and Attorney General. He cautioned the directors to be on the look-out for avoidable audit queries like those coming out of unretired impress,” the statement read further.

Rev Sikwela added that the newly-introduced policies were in bid to avoid budget misappropriation.

“The PS said this is the making of the policies that have to be followed as there is no emergency in using monies from incorrect budget lines. He said authority must always be sought before any issues are treated as an emergency. Reverend Sikwela said the meeting held this morning was to avoid such action taken against his Ministry, hence the need that all members be committed to what would be discussed,” read the statement.