The Report of the Auditor General on the accounts of Local Authorities for the financial years ended 31st December 2015, 2016 and 2017 has revealed that local authorities failed to remit statutory and other obligations amounting to K424 Million.
According to a statement issued by head of public relations at the Auditor General’s office Ellen Chikale, Thursday, failure to settle staff obligations by the council was ranked as the second highest irregularity, involving K152 million for the period under review.
“The Report of the Auditor General on the accounts of Local Authorities for the financial years ended 31st December 2015, 2016 and 2017 is out with worrying revelations of failure to remit statutory and other obligations as the highest irregularity at K424 Million. The Report has also ranked failure to settle staff obligations as the second highest irregularity at 152 million kwacha for the period under review. The implication for these irregularities is that government is deprived of revenue in the case of non-remittances and for NAPSA and LASF contributions this may disadvantage the employee of his benefits at the time of termination of their service,” Chikale stated.
“The councils also failed to collect and account for revenue in amounts totaling 33 million kwacha and 502 thousand kwacha respectively. Unsupported payments stood 27 million kwacha, whilst Misapplication of Funds was at 12 million kwacha. The implication of these irregularities is that these resources could have gone into service delivery thereby contributing to socio-economic development of the citizenry and their communities. Some of the principal findings in the report include the failure to prepare financial statements, lack of updated Valuation Rolls, lack of title deeds, failure to fill key positions, failure to maintain properties and failure to adhere to the provisions of the Environmental Management Act.”
She said other irregularities contained in the report were unaccounted for stores, irregular procurements, questionable payments and failure to insure assets among others.
“Failure to remit statutory and other obligations K423,641,615, failure to settle staff obligations 152,081,443, misapplication of Funds 12,891,514, unsupported payments 27,020,572, unapproved Payments 1,048,306, unretired Accountable imprest 2,876,131, unaccounted for Revenue 502,006, unspent Funds 699,143, failure to collect revenue 33,672,990, failure to follow procurement guidelines 527,148, failure to insure assets 36,560,778, irregular payment of allowances 3,073,934, missing payment vouchers 14,334,890, Overpayments 163,889, questionable Payments 120,631 unaccounted for Stores 23,075,525,” she stated.
Chikale said her office was concerned by the continued poor governance in councils throughout the country.
“The Office is concerned that local authorities have continued to exhibit poor governance when it comes to operational and financial matters. It is the wish of the Office of the Auditor General that these irregularities should be addressed if Councils are to provide quality service delivery and development in their respective communities,” stated Chikale.